A dynamic normalization model of temporal attention

Rachel N. Denison, Marisa Carrasco, David J. Heeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vision is dynamic, handling a continuously changing stream of input, yet most models of visual attention are static. Here, we develop a dynamic normalization model of visual temporal attention and constrain it with new psychophysical human data. We manipulated temporal attention—the prioritization of visual information at specific points in time—to a sequence of two stimuli separated by a variable time interval. Voluntary temporal attention improved perceptual sensitivity only over a specific interval range. To explain these data, we modelled voluntary and involuntary attentional gain dynamics. Voluntary gain enhancement took the form of a limited resource over short time intervals, which recovered over time. Taken together, our theoretical and experimental results formalize and generalize the idea of limited attentional resources across space at a single moment to limited resources across time at a single location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1674-1685
Number of pages12
JournalNature human behaviour
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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