Design recommendations for notifications are typically based on user performance and subjective feedback. In comparison, there has been surprisingly little research on how designed notifications might be processed by the brain for the information they convey. The current study uses EEG/ERP methods to evaluate auditory notifications that were designed to cue long-distance truck drivers for task-management and driving conditions, particularly for automated driving scenarios. Two experiments separately evaluated naïve students and professional truck drivers for their behavioral and brain responses to auditory notifications, which were either auditory icons or verbal commands. Our EEG/ERP results suggest that verbal commands were more readily recognized by the brain as relevant targets, but that auditory icons were more likely to update contextual working memory. Both classes of notifications did not differ on behavioral measures. This suggests that auditory icons ought to be employed for communicating contextual information and verbal commands, for urgent requests.