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Poster A24

Neural correlates of temporal orienting of attention in dynamic stimuli

Poster Session A - Saturday, April 13, 2024, 2:30 – 4:30 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Yi Gao1 (, Anna Christina Nobre1,2, Irene Echeverria-Altuna2, Sage Boettcher2; 1Yale University, 2University of Oxford

Temporal expectations have been shown to support selective prioritization of task-relevant stimuli when combined with foreknowledge about stimulus locations and associated motor responses. Yet, it remains unclear whether and how temporal expectation can independently guide adaptive perception and influence brain activity, devoid of spatial and motor predictions. To investigate this, we employed electroencephalography (EEG) during a visual search task where participants reported the location of a target embedded in dynamic visual streams. Each target had a distinct onset probability distribution, with certain targets more likely to appear at specific times within streams. Targets appeared equiprobably at two locations, making spatial and motor response patterns unpredictable. In each trial, only one target was cued and became task relevant. Participants demonstrated increased speed and accuracy in detecting temporally expected stimuli compared to unexpected ones, highlighting the behavioral advantage conferred by temporal anticipation. At the neural level, a pronounced P300 response was observed for anticipated trial-relevant targets along with a distinct N2pc potential contralateral to expected targets. This pattern was not observed for trial-irrelevant targets, reflecting enhanced attentional modulation and perceptual selection of task-relevant stimuli by temporal expectations. Furthermore, contingent negative variation (CNV) in the pre-stimulus period was more prominent for temporally expected targets, underscoring the anticipatory neural activity associated with temporal expectation. Collectively, these results provide compelling evidence for the distinct role of temporal expectation in visual perception and behavior.

Topic Area: ATTENTION: Nonspatial


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April 13–16  |  2024