Directed attention eliminates 'Change deafness' in complex auditory scenes

Eramudugolla, Ranmalee, Irvine, Dexter R.F., McAnally, Ken I., Martin, Russell L. and Mattingley, Jason B. (2005) Directed attention eliminates 'Change deafness' in complex auditory scenes. Current Biology, 15 12: 1108-1113. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2005.05.051

Author Eramudugolla, Ranmalee
Irvine, Dexter R.F.
McAnally, Ken I.
Martin, Russell L.
Mattingley, Jason B.
Title Directed attention eliminates 'Change deafness' in complex auditory scenes
Journal name Current Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0960-9822
Publication date 2005-06-21
Year available 2005
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2005.05.051
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 15
Issue 12
Start page 1108
End page 1113
Total pages 6
Place of publication Cambridge, Mass.
Publisher Cell Press
Language eng
Subject 1702 Cognitive Sciences
Abstract In natural environments that contain multiple sound sources, acoustic energy arising from the different sources sums to produce a single complex waveform at each of, the listener's ears. The auditory system must segregate this waveform into distinct streams to permit identification of the objects from which the signals emanate [1]. Although the processes involved in stream segregation are now reasonably well understood [1-3], little is known about the nature of our perception of complex auditory scenes. Here, we examined complex scene perception by having listeners detect a discrete change to an auditory scene comprising multiple concurrent naturalistic sounds. We found that listeners were remarkably poor at detecting the disappearance of an individual auditory object when listening to scenes containing more than four objects, but they performed near perfectly when their attention was directed to the identity of a potential change. In the absence of directed attention, this "change deafness" [4] was greater for objects arising from a common location in space than for objects separated in azimuth. Change deafness was also observed for changes in object location, suggesting that it may reflect a general effect of the dependence of human auditory perception on attention.
Keyword Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Q-Index Code C1
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
Queensland Brain Institute Publications
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Created: Wed, 17 Oct 2007, 23:43:37 EST