Supramodal executive control of attention: Evidence from unimodal and crossmodal dual conflict effects

Alfredo Spagna, Tingting Wu, Kevin Kim, Jin Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Although we have demonstrated that the executive control of attention acts supramodally as shown by significant correlation between conflict effect measures in visual and auditory tasks, no direct evidence of the equivalence in the computational mechanisms governing the allocation of executive control resources within and across modalities has been found. Here, in two independent groups of 40 participants each, we examined the interaction effect of conflict processing in both unimodal (visual) and crossmodal (visual and auditory) dual-conflict paradigms (flanker conflict processing in Task 1 and then in the following Task 2) with a manipulation of the stimulus onset asynchrony (SOA). In both the unimodal and the crossmodal dual-conflict paradigms, the conflict processing of Task 1 significantly interfered with the processing of Task 2 when the SOA was short, as shown by an additive interference effect of Task 1 on Task 2 under the time constraints. These results suggest that there is a unified supramodal entity that supports conflict processing by implementing comparable mechanisms in unimodal and crossmodal scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-276
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Attentional networks
  • Cognitive computational neuroscience
  • Dual conflict
  • Supramodal executive control


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