Temporal expectation driven by rhythmic cues compared to that driven by symbolic cues provides a more precise attentional focus in time

Zhihan Xu, Yanna Ren, Ting Guo, Aijun Wang, Takanori Nakao, Yoshimichi Ejima, Jiajia Yang, Satoshi Takahashi, Jinglong Wu, Qiong Wu, Ming Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Temporal expectation is the ability to select the precise point in time for doing something to produce an optimal effect. Two sources of information that humans use to generate temporal expectations are rhythmic and symbolic cues. Both types of cues have been proven effective in directing attention to a future point in time resulting in improved performance. However, the temporal precision of the two forms of temporal expectation have rarely been compared. In the current study, 17 participants performed two temporal expectation tasks in which either a rhythmic cue or a symbolic cue indicated that a future target would appear after a 500-ms (short) or 1,500-ms (long) interval; the target appeared at the expected time in 54% of trials and at an unexpected earlier or later interval in 36% of trials. In both tasks, we observed that the reaction time (RT) curves were U-shaped, with a slower RT for the earlier and later unexpected intervals and a faster RT for intervals approaching the expected point in time. Furthermore, we found a significant interaction between task and the quadratic term of temporal expectation, which indicates that the U-shaped RT curves for the rhythmic cue task are steeper than those for the symbolic cue task. Thus, the current results revealed that compared with symbolic cues, temporal expectation driven by rhythmic cues provides a more precise attentional focus in time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-314
Number of pages7
JournalAttention, Perception, and Psychophysics
Volume83
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Rhythm
  • Symbolic
  • Temporal expectation
  • Temporal window
  • U-shaped curve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Linguistics and Language

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Temporal expectation driven by rhythmic cues compared to that driven by symbolic cues provides a more precise attentional focus in time'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this