Neural substrates of perceptual enhancement by cross-modal spatial attention

John J. McDonald, Wolfgang A. Teder-Sälejärvi, Francesco Di Russo, Steven A. Hillyard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Orienting attention involuntarily to the location of a sudden sound improves perception of subsequent visual stimuli that appear nearby. The neural substrates of this cross-modal attention effect were investigated by recording event-related potentials to the visual stimuli using a dense electrode array and localizing their brain sources through inverse dipole modeling. A spatially nonpredictive auditory precue modulated visual-evoked neural activity first in the superior temporal cortex at 120-140 msec and then in the ventral occipital cortex of the fusiform gyrus 15-25 msec later. This spatio-temporal sequence of brain activity suggests that enhanced visual perception produced by the cross-modal orienting of spatial attention results from neural feedback from the multimodal superior temporal cortex to the visual cortex of the ventral processing stream.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-19
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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    McDonald, J. J., Teder-Sälejärvi, W. A., Di Russo, F., & Hillyard, S. A. (2003). Neural substrates of perceptual enhancement by cross-modal spatial attention. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 15(1), 10-19.