Dynamic cognitive control of irrelevant sound: increased task engagement attenuates semantic auditory distraction
2015 (English)In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, ISSN 0096-1523, E-ISSN 1939-1277, Vol. 41, no 5, 1462-1474 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Two experiments investigated reactive top-down cognitive control of the detrimental influence of spoken distractors semantically related to visually-presented words presented for free recall. Experiment 1 demonstrated that an increase in focal task-engagement—promoted experimentally by reducing the perceptual discriminability of the visual target-words—eliminated the disruption by such distracters of veridical recall and also attenuated the erroneous recall of the distracters. A recall instruction that eliminates the requirement for output-monitoring was used in Experiment 2 to investigate whether increased task-engagement shields against distraction through a change in output-monitoring processes (back-end control) or by affecting the processing of the distracters during their presentation (front-end control). Rates of erroneous distracter-recall were much greater than in Experiment 1 but both erroneous distracter-recall and the disruptive effect of distracters on veridical recall were still attenuated under reduced target-word discriminability. Taken together, the results show that task-engagement is under dynamic strategic control and can be modulated to shield against auditory distraction by attenuating distracter-processing at encoding thereby preventing distracters from coming to mind at test.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 41, no 5, 1462-1474 p.
Cognitive control, Distraction, Erroneous recall, Semantic processing, Veridical recall
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-19106DOI: 10.1037/xhp0000060ISI: 000361916300025PubMedID: 26191618ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84942551770OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-19106DiVA: diva2:795190
FunderRiksbankens Jubileumsfond, P11-0617:1