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What We Expect Is Not Always What We Get: Evidence for Both the Direction-of-Change and the Specific-Stimulus Hypotheses of Auditory Attentional Capture
University of Gavle, Sweden.
University of Gavle, Sweden; University of Central Lancashire, England.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Cognition, Development and Disability. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Linköping University, The Swedish Institute for Disability Research. University of Gavle, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 9, no 11, e111997- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Participants were requested to respond to a sequence of visual targets while listening to a well-known lullaby. One of the notes in the lullaby was occasionally exchanged with a pattern deviant. Experiment 1 found that deviants capture attention as a function of the pitch difference between the deviant and the replaced/expected tone. However, when the pitch difference between the expected tone and the deviant tone is held constant, a violation to the direction-of-pitch change across tones can also capture attention (Experiment 2). Moreover, in more complex auditory environments, wherein it is difficult to build a coherent neural model of the sound environment from which expectations are formed, deviations can capture attention but it appears to matter less whether this is a violation from a specific stimulus or a violation of the current direction-of-change (Experiment 3). The results support the expectation violation account of auditory distraction and suggest that there are at least two different expectations that can be violated: One appears to be bound to a specific stimulus and the other would seem to be bound to a more global cross-stimulus rule such as the direction-of-change based on a sequence of preceding sound events. Factors like base-rate probability of tones within the sound environment might become the driving mechanism of attentional capture-rather than violated expectations-in complex sound environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library of Science , 2014. Vol. 9, no 11, e111997- p.
National Category
Basic Medicine
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-114028DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111997ISI: 000347709300027PubMedID: 25393298OAI: diva2:786490

Funding Agencies|Swedish Research Council [2010-2042]

Available from: 2015-02-05 Created: 2015-02-05 Last updated: 2015-02-24

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