Top-down control over involuntary attention switching in the auditory modality

Elyse S. Sussman, I. Winkler, E. Schröger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

120 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We tested the effects of predictability on involuntary attention switching to task-irrelevant sound changes (distraction). Behavioral and neurophysiological evidence are provided, showing that the predictability of task-irrelevant sound changes eliminates effects of distraction even though the automatic auditory change detection system remains responsive. Two indices of distraction, slower task performance and cortical brain responses associated with attention switching, were seen only in the unpredictable condition, in which the irrelevant acoustic changes were unexpected. Attention was not involuntarily drawn away from the primary task when the subjects had foreknowledge of when the irrelevant changes would occur. These results demonstrate attentional control over orienting to sound changes and suggest that involuntary attention switching occurs mainly when an irrelevant stimulus change is unexpected. The present data allowed observation of the temporal dynamics of attention switching in the human brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-637
Number of pages8
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Volume10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003

Fingerprint

Brain
Task Performance and Analysis
Acoustics
Observation
Involuntary
Top-down
Modality
Distraction
Sound Change
Hearing
Predictability
Change Detection
Foreknowledge
Stimulus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Top-down control over involuntary attention switching in the auditory modality. / Sussman, Elyse S.; Winkler, I.; Schröger, E.

In: Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Vol. 10, No. 3, 09.2003, p. 630-637.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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