Anticipated moments: temporal structure in attention

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2018 Jan;19(1):34-48. doi: 10.1038/nrn.2017.141. Epub 2017 Dec 7.


We have come to recognize the brain as a predictive organ, anticipating attributes of the incoming sensory stimulation to guide perception and action in the service of adaptive behaviour. In the quest to understand the neural bases of the modulatory prospective signals that prioritize and select relevant events during perception, one fundamental dimension has until recently been largely overlooked: time. In this Review, we introduce the burgeoning field of temporal attention and illustrate how the brain makes use of various forms of temporal regularities in the environment to guide adaptive behaviour and influence neural processing.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anticipation, Psychological / physiology*
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Time Factors