4th Annual Meeting of the International Multisensory Research Forum
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Kathrin Lange

Early processing of auditory and tactile stimuli is modulated by orienting attention to a moment in time: uni- and crossmodal effects

Kathrin Lange
Department of Experimental and Biological Psychology, Philipps-University Marburg

Brigitte Röder
Department of Experimental and Biological Psychology, Philipps-University Marburg

     Abstract ID Number: 78
     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: March 19, 2003

Event-related potentials (ERPs) have shown that spatial attention modulates even the processing of stimuli of a task irrelevant modality at early perceptual levels, suggestive of cross-modal links between the modalities. Attention can be allocated along the time dimension as well. However, it is not known whether cross-modal links in temporal attention exist. In the present study, short (600 ms) and long (1200 ms) empty intervals, marked by a tactile onset and an auditory or tactile offset marker, were presented while the EEG was recorded from 61 scalp electrodes. The twelve participants had to respond to infrequent double offset markers of a designated modality and interval. ERPs to standard stimuli at attended versus unattended moments in time were compared separately for the auditory and tactile modality. Early attention effects were evident in the ERPs to auditory (N100-140) and tactile stimuli (N130-180, N190-230) when the modality was attended (uni-modal effects). A similar modulation was observed for task irrelevant auditory stimuli presented at the attended moment in time (cross-modal effect). These results suggest that temporal attention operates on an early perceptual processing stage both within audition and touch and that time may be an important feature to link input of different sensory channels.

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