Subjects were required to attend to a combination of stimulus modality (vision or audition) and location (left or right). Intermodal attention was measured by comparing event-related potentials (ERPs) to visual and auditory stimuli when the modality was relevant or irrelevant, while intramodal (spatial) attention was measured by comparing ERPs to visual and auditory stimuli presented at relevant and irrelevant spatial locations. Intramodal spatial attention was expressed differently in visual and auditory ERPs. When vision was relevant, spatial attention showed a contralateral enhancement of posterior N1 and P2 components and enhancement of parietal P3. When audition was relevant, spatial attention showed a biphasic fronto-central negativity, starting after around 100 ms. The same effects were also present in ERPs to stimuli that were presented in the irrelevant modality. Thus, spatial attention was not completely modality specific. Intermodal attention effects were also expressed differently in vision and audition. Taken together, the obtained ERP patterns of the present study show that stimulus attributes such as modality and location are processed differently in vision and audition.
Talsma, D., & Kok, A. (2002). Intermodal spatial attention differs between vision and audition: An event-related potential analysis. Psychopharmacology, 39(6), 689-706. https://doi.org/10.1111/1469-8986.3960689