Abstract and Keywords
The last 30 years or so have seen a rapid rise in research on attentional orienting from a crossmodal perspective. The majority of this research has tended to focus on the consequences of the covert orienting of attention (either to a sensory modality or spatial location) for both perception and neural information processing. The results of numerous studies have now highlighted the robust crossmodal links that exist in the case of both overt and covert, and both exogenous and endogenous spatial orienting. Neuroimaging studies have started to highlight the neural circuits underlying such crossmodal effects. Researchers are increasingly using transcranial magnetic stimulation in order to lesion temporarily putative areas within these networks; the aim of such research often being to determine whether attentional orienting is controlled by supramodal versus modality-specific neural systems that are somehow linked (this is known as the ‘separable-but-linked’ hypothesis). The available research demonstrates that crossmodal attentional orienting (and multisensory integration—from which it is sometimes hard to distinguish) can affect the very earliest stages of information processing in the human brain.
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