When temporal attention interacts with expectation

Aysun Duyar, Shiyang Ren, Marisa Carrasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Temporal attention is voluntarily deployed at specific moments, whereas temporal expectation is deployed according to timing probabilities. When the target appears at an expected moment in a sequence, temporal attention improves performance at the attended moments, but the timing and the precision of the attentional window remain unknown. Here we independently and concurrently manipulated temporal attention–via behavioral relevance–and temporal expectation–via session-wise precision and trial-wise hazard rate–to investigate whether and how these mechanisms interact to improve perception. Our results reveal that temporal attention interacts with temporal expectation–the higher the precision, the stronger the attention benefit, but surprisingly this benefit decreased with delayed onset despite the increasing probability of stimulus appearance. When attention was suboptimally deployed to earlier than expected moments, it could not be reoriented to a later time point. These findings provide evidence that temporal attention and temporal expectation are different mechanisms, and highlight their interplay in optimizing visual performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4624
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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