Preventing distraction: Assessing stimulus-specific and general effects of the predictive cueing of deviant auditory events

János Horváth, Elyse Sussman, István Winkler, Erich Schröger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Rare irregular sounds (deviants) embedded into a regular sound sequence have large potential to draw attention to themselves (distraction). It has been previously shown that distraction, as manifested by behavioral response delay, and the P3a and reorienting negativity (RON) event-related potentials, could be reduced when the forthcoming deviant was signaled by visual cues preceding the sounds. In the present study, we investigated the type of information used in the prevention of distraction by manipulating the information content of the visual cues preceding the sounds. Cues could signal the specific variant of the forthcoming deviant, or they could just signal that the next tone was a deviant. We found that stimulus-specific cue information was used in reducing distraction. The results also suggest that early P3a and RON index processes related to the specific deviating stimulus feature, whereas late P3a reflects a general distraction-related process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-48
Number of pages14
JournalBiological Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2011



  • Attention
  • Cueing
  • Distraction
  • Event related potentials (ERP)
  • P3a
  • Predictability
  • Reorienting negativity (RON)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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