Behavioral and EEG Investigations of Temporal Orienting of Attention in Audition and Vision


Orienting attention enables us to select, process, and react to relevant objects in complex environments. Just as we can orient attention in space and to certain object features, recent research has shown that we can also orient attention in time (temporal orienting). This dissertation investigates the mechanisms and the effects of temporal orienting driven by various temporal structures and under different task/attentional demands using behavioral and EEG methods. I present three studies where I demonstrate that (1) not just explicitly but also implicitly learned temporal regularities can lead to temporal orienting and influence response times without influencing response conflict in the visual modality, (2) temporal orienting is controlled independently from attentional orienting to specific sensory modalities across the auditory and visual modalities, and (3) temporal orienting in the auditory modality may be controlled by mechanisms that also control auditory sensory adaptation given that violations of rhythmic expectations override sensory adaptation.

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