Intra-modal and cross-modal spatial attention to auditory and visual stimuli. An event-related brain potential study

Wolfgang A. Teder-Sälejärvi*, Thomas F. Münte, Franz Jürgen Sperlich, Steven A. Hillyard

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit
82 Zitate (Scopus)


This study investigated cross-modal interactions in spatial attention by means of recording event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Noise bursts and light flashes were presented in random order to both left and right field locations separated by 60°in free-field. One group of subjects was instructed to attend selectively to the noise bursts (attend-auditory group), and a second group attended only to the flashes (attend-visual group). On different runs attention was directed to either the right or left field stimuli of the designated modality. In the attend-auditory group, noise bursts at the attended location elicited a broad, biphasic negativity (Nd) beginning at 70 ms. The cross-modal spatial attention effect on the auditory ERPs in the attend-visual group was very similar in morphology, but the Nd was reduced in amplitude relative to the intra-modal effect. In the attend- visual group, flashes at the attended location elicited enhanced early (100- 200 ms) and late (200-350 ms) ERP components relative to unattended-location flashes. The cross-modal effect in the attend-auditory group included small but significant enhancements of early components of the visual ERPs. It was concluded that spatial attention has a multi-modal organization such that the processing of stimuli at attended locations is facilitated at an early, sensory level, even for stimuli of an unattended modality.

ZeitschriftCognitive Brain Research
Seiten (von - bis)327-343
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 25.10.1999

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Forschungsschwerpunkt: Gehirn, Hormone, Verhalten - Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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