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November 2022

Effects of eye movements on the recognition and localization of dichotic stimuli

Author(s): Hampson, E., Wong, S. C., Kinsbourne, M.

Journal/Book: Brain Cogn. 1985; 4: 140-55.

Abstract: Three experiments examined the effect of gaze shifts on overall performance and ear differences in dichotic listening. In the first two experiments, lights were switched on and off so as to induce rightward, leftward, or upward gaze during dichotic stimulation. The dichotic material consisted of musical passages in Experiment 1 and two kinds of verbal material in Experiment 2. Vertical eye movements enhanced the accuracy of identification of music but not verbal material. The lateral direction of eye movements affected subjects' ability to localize targets in Experiment 1: localization was more accurate in the direction toward which subjects were looking. In the third experiment it was found that optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) influenced the asymmetry of performance on a dichotic consonant-vowel (CV) test. The right-ear advantage was greatest when the OKN drum rotated from left to right and least when it rotated from right to left. The effect was due to corresponding variation in left-ear scores. Possible mechanisms through which shifts of gaze affect auditory identification and localization are proposed.

Keyword(s): Auditory Perception|. Dominance, Cerebral|. Eye Movements|

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