Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society



Presentation modality influences behavioral measures of alerting, orienting, and executive control


KATHERINE L.  ROBERTS  a1 c1 , A. QUENTIN  SUMMERFIELD  a2 and DEBORAH A.  HALL  a1
a1 Medical Research Council, Institute of Hearing Research, University Park, Nottingham, United Kingdom
a2 Department of Psychology, University of York, York, United Kingdom

Article author query
roberts kl   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
summerfield aq   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
hall da   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

The Attention Network Test (ANT) uses visual stimuli to separately assess the attentional skills of alerting (improved performance following a warning cue), spatial orienting (an additional benefit when the warning cue also cues target location), and executive control (impaired performance when a target stimulus contains conflicting information). This study contrasted performance on auditory and visual versions of the ANT to determine whether the measures it obtains are influenced by presentation modality. Forty healthy volunteers completed both auditory and visual tests. Reaction-time measures of executive control were of a similar magnitude and significantly correlated, suggesting that executive control might be a supramodal resource. Measures of alerting were also comparable across tasks. In contrast, spatial-orienting benefits were obtained only in the visual task. Auditory spatial cues did not improve response times to auditory targets presented at the cued location. The different spatial-orienting measures could reflect either separate orienting resources for each perceptual modality, or an interaction between a supramodal orienting resource and modality-specific perceptual processing (JINS, 2006, 12, 485–492.)

(Received November 23 2005)
(Revised March 7 2006)
(Accepted March 7 2006)


Key Words: Auditory perception; Visual perception; Attention; Cues; Attention Network Test; ANT.

Correspondence:
c1 Correspondence and reprint requests to: Katherine L. Roberts, MRC Institute of Hearing Research, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, United Kingdom. E-mail: kate@ihr.mrc.ac.uk