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  Orienting auditory attention in time: Lateralized alpha power reflects spatio-temporal filtering

Wöstmann, M., Maess, B., & Obleser, J. (2021). Orienting auditory attention in time: Lateralized alpha power reflects spatio-temporal filtering. NeuroImage, 228: 117711. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117711.

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 Creators:
Wöstmann, Malte1, 2, Author
Maess, Burkhard3, Author              
Obleser, Jonas1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department of Psychology, University of Lübeck, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Center of Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM), University of Lübeck, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Methods and Development Group Brain Networks, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2205650              

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 Abstract: The deployment of neural alpha (8–12 Hz) lateralization in service of spatial attention is well-established: Alpha power increases in the cortical hemisphere ipsilateral to the attended hemifield, and decreases in the contralateral hemisphere, respectively. Much less is known about humans’ ability to deploy such alpha lateralization in time, and to thus exploit alpha power as a spatio-temporal filter. Here we show that spatially lateralized alpha power does signify – beyond the direction of spatial attention – the distribution of attention in time and thereby qualifies as a spatio-temporal attentional filter. Participants (N = 20) selectively listened to spoken numbers presented on one side (left vs right), while competing numbers were presented on the other side. Key to our hypothesis, temporal foreknowledge was manipulated via a visual cue, which was either instructive and indicated the to-be-probed number position (70% valid) or neutral. Temporal foreknowledge did guide participants’ attention, as they recognized numbers from the to-be-attended side more accurately following valid cues. In the magnetoencephalogram (MEG), spatial attention to the left versus right side induced lateralization of alpha power in all temporal cueing conditions. Modulation of alpha lateralization at the 0.8 Hz presentation rate of spoken numbers was stronger following instructive compared to neutral temporal cues. Critically, we found stronger modulation of lateralized alpha power specifically at the onsets of temporally cued numbers. These results suggest that the precisely timed hemispheric lateralization of alpha power qualifies as a spatio-temporal attentional filter mechanism susceptible to top-down behavioural goals.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2020-11-272020-07-152020-12-212020-12-292021-03
 Publication Status: Published in print
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 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2020.117711
Other: epub 2020
PMID: 33385562
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Grant ID : ERC-CoG-2014-646696 AUDADAPT
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Funding organization : European Research Council

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Title: NeuroImage
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Orlando, FL : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 228 Sequence Number: 117711 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1053-8119
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922650166