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How the deployment of visual attention modulates auditory distraction
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences, Tampere UniversityTampereFinland.
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada.
School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
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2019 (English)In: Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, ISSN 1943-3921, E-ISSN 1943-393XArticle in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Classically, attentional selectivity has been conceptualized as a passive by-product of capacity-limits on stimulus-processing. Here, we examine the role of more active cognitive control processes in attentional selectivity, focusing on how distraction from task-irrelevant sound is modulated by levels of task-engagement in a visually-presented short-term memory task. Task-engagement was varied by manipulating the load involved in the encoding of the (visually-presented) to-be-remembered items. Using a list of Navon letters (where a large letter is composed of smaller, different-identity, letters), participants were oriented to attend and serially recall the list of large letters (low encoding-load) or to attend and serially recall the list of small letters (high encoding-load). Attentional capture by a single deviant noise burst within a task-irrelevant tone sequence (the deviation effect) was eliminated under high encoding-load (Experiment 1). However, distraction from a continuously changing sequence of tones (the changing-state effect) was immune to the influence of load (Experiment 2). This dissociation in the amenability of the deviation effect and the changing-state effect to cognitive control supports a duplex- over a unitary-mechanism account of auditory distraction in which the deviation effect is due to attentional capture while the changing-state effect reflects direct interference between the processing of the sound and processes involved in the focal task. That the changing-state effect survives high encoding-load also goes against an alternative explanation of the attenuation of the deviation effect under high load in terms of the depletion of a limited perceptual resource that would result in diminished auditory processing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2019.
Keywords [en]
Selective attention, cognitive control, auditory distraction, attentional capture, interference-by-process
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-29820DOI: 10.3758/s13414-019-01800-wScopus ID: 2-s2.0-85068928972OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-29820DiVA, id: diva2:1323701
Part of project
A new perspective on working memory and its relation to attention and learning, Swedish Research Council
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-01116Swedish Research CouncilAvailable from: 2019-06-12 Created: 2019-06-12 Last updated: 2019-11-27Bibliographically approved

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Marsh, John E.Vachon, François

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