Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

For many years, researchers have argued that we have separate attentional resources for the processing of information impinging on each of our sensory receptor systems. However, a number of recent studies have demonstrated the existence of shared attentional resources for the processing of auditory, visual and tactile stimuli. In the present study, we examined whether there are also common attentional resources for the processing of chemosensory stimuli. Participants made speeded (left vs. right) footpedal discrimination responses to an unpredictable sequence of visual and chemosensory stimuli presented to either nostril. The participants' attention was directed to one or the other modality by means of a symbolic auditory cue (high or low tone) at the start of each trial, which predicted the likely modality for the upcoming target on the majority (80%) of trials. Participants responded more rapidly when the target occurred in the expected modality than when it occurred in the unexpected modality, implying the existence of shared attentional resources for the processing of chemosensory and visual stimuli.

Original publication

DOI

10.1080/713755985

Type

Journal article

Journal

Q J Exp Psychol A

Publication Date

08/2001

Volume

54

Pages

775 - 783

Keywords

Attention, Auditory Perception, Chemoreceptor Cells, Cues, Discrimination (Psychology), Humans, Reaction Time, Smell, Touch, Visual Perception