Visuospatial attention is not a monolithic process and can be divided into different functional systems. In this framework, exogenous attention reflects the involuntary orienting of attention resources following a salient event, whereas endogenous attention corresponds to voluntary orienting based on the goals and intentions of individuals. Previous work shows that these attention processes map onto distinct functional systems, yet evidence suggests that they are not fully independent. In the current work, we investigated the differential and overlapping effects of exogenous and endogenous attention on visual processing. We combined spatial cueing of visuospatial attention, EEG, and multivariate pattern analysis to examine where and when the effects of exogenous and endogenous attention were maximally different and maximally similar. Critically, multivariate pattern analysis provided new insights by examining whether classifiers trained to decode the cueing effect for one attention process (e.g., exogenous attention) can successfully decode the cueing effect for the other attention process (e.g., endogenous attention). These analyses uncovered differential and overlapping effects between exogenous and endogenous attention. Next, we combined principal component analyses, single-trial ERPs, and mediation analysis to determine whether these effects facilitate perception, as indexed by the behavioral spatial cueing effects of exogenous and endogenous attention. This approach revealed that three EEG components shape the cueing effects of exogenous and endogenous attention at various times after target onset. Altogether, our study provides a comprehensive account about how overlapping and differential processes of endogenous and exogenous relate to perceptual facilitation in the context of visuospatial attention.

You do not currently have access to this content.