Unimodal and crossmodal gradients of spatial attention: Evidence from event-related potentials.Brain Topogr. 2010 Mar; 23(1):1-13.BT
Behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) studies have shown that spatial attention is gradually distributed around the center of the attentional focus. The present study compared uni- and crossmodal gradients of spatial attention to investigate whether the orienting of auditory and visual spatial attention is based on modality specific or supramodal representations of space. Auditory and visual stimuli were presented from five speaker locations positioned in the right hemifield. Participants had to attend to the innermost or outmost right position in order to detect either visual or auditory deviant stimuli. Detection rates and event-related potentials (ERPs) indicated that spatial attention is distributed as a gradient. Unimodal spatial ERP gradients correlated with the spatial resolution of the modality. Crossmodal spatial gradients were always broader than the corresponding unimodal spatial gradients. These results suggest that both modality specific and supramodal spatial representations are activated during orienting attention in space.