Crossmodal attention

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1998 Apr;8(2):245-53. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(98)80147-5.


Most selective attention research has considered only a single sensory modality at a time, but in the real world, our attention must be coordinated crossmodally. Recent studies reveal extensive crossmodal links in attention across the various modalities (i.e. audition, vision, touch and proprioception). Attention typically shifts to a common location across the modalities, despite the vast differences in their initial coding of space. These spatial synergies in attention can be maintained even when receptors are realigned across the modalities by changes in posture. Some crossmodal integration can arise preattentively. The mechanisms underlying these crossmodal links can be examined in a convergent manner by integrating behavioural studies of normal subjects and brain-damaged patients with neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention / physiology*
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Proprioception / physiology*
  • Touch / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*