Bimodal-divided attention attenuates visually induced inhibition of return with audiovisual targets

Xiaoyu Tang, Yulin Gao, Weiping Yang, Yanna Ren, Jinglong Wu, Ming Zhang, Qiong Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Inhibition of return (IOR) refers to the slower response to a target appearing at a previously attended location in a cue–target paradigm. It has been greatly explored in the visual or auditory modality. This study investigates differences between the IOR of audiovisual targets and the IOR of visual targets under conditions of modality-specific selective attention (Experiment 1) and divided-modalities attention (Experiment 2). We employed an exogenous spatial cueing paradigm and manipulated the modalities of targets, including visual, auditory, or audiovisual modalities. The participants were asked to detect targets in visual modality or both visual and auditory modalities, which were presented on the same (cued) or opposite (uncued) side as the preceding visual peripheral cues. In Experiment 1, we found the comparable IOR with visual and audiovisual targets when participants were asked to selectively focus on visual modality. In Experiment 2, however, there was a smaller magnitude of IOR with audiovisual targets as compared with visual targets when paying attention to both visual and auditory modalities. We also observed a reduced multisensory response enhancement effect and race model inequality violation at cued locations relative to uncued locations. These results provide the first evidence of the IOR with audiovisual targets. Furthermore, IOR with audiovisual targets decreases when paying attention to both modalities. The interaction between exogenous spatial attention and audiovisual integration is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1107
Number of pages15
JournalExperimental Brain Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 8 2019


  • Audiovisual integration
  • Audiovisual target
  • Exogenous spatial attention
  • Inhibition of return
  • Race model inequality violation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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