Article

Effect of visual attentional load on auditory scene analysis

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cognitive Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 3.29). 10/2005; 5(3):319-38. DOI: 10.3758/CABN.5.3.319
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

The sharing of processing resources between the senses was investigated by examining the effects of visual task load on auditory event-related brain potentials (ERPs). In Experiment 1, participants completed both a zero-back and a one-back visual task while a tone pattern or a harmonic series was presented. N1 and P2 waves were modulated by visual task difficulty, but neither mismatch negativity (MMN) elicited by deviant stimuli from the tone pattern nor object-related negativity (ORN) elicited by mistuning from the harmonic series was affected. In Experiment 2, participants responded to identity (what) or location (where) in vision, while ignoring sounds alternating in either pitch (what) or location (where). Auditory ERP modulations were consistent with task difficulty, rather than with task specificity. In Experiment 3, we investigated auditory ERP generation under conditions of no visual task. The results are discussed with respect to a distinction between process-general (N1 and P2) and process-specific (MMN and ORN) auditory ERPs.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Claude Alain
  • Source
    • "In addition to harmonicity, differences in vowel location (Drennan et al., 2003; Du et al., 2011; Shackleton and Meddis, 1992) and onset asynchrony also yield improvement in the identification of both vowels (Hedrick and Madix, 2009; Lentz and Marsh, 2006). Evidence from scalp-recordings of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) suggests that the perception of concurrent sound objects may occur independently of attention (Alain and Izenberg, 2003; Alain et al., 2002; Dyson et al., 2005) and likely involves primary and associative auditory cortices (Dyson and Alain, 2004). Fig. 2 shows ERPs elicited by tuned and mistuned stimuli and their difference wave. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Age-related decline in hearing abilities is a ubiquitous part of aging, and commonly impacts speech understanding, especially when there are competing sound sources. While such age effects are partially due to changes within the cochlea, difficulties typically exist beyond measurable hearing loss, suggesting that central brain processes, as opposed to simple peripheral mechanisms (e.g., hearing sensitivity), play a critical role in governing hearing abilities late into life. Current training regimens aimed to improve central auditory processing abilities have experienced limited success in promoting listening benefits. Interestingly, recent studies suggest that in young adults, musical training positively modifies neural mechanisms, providing robust, long-lasting improvements to hearing abilities as well as to non-auditory tasks that engage cognitive control. These results offer the encouraging possibility that musical training might be used to counteract age-related changes in auditory cognition commonly observed in older adults. Here, we reviewed studies that have examined the effects of age and musical experience on auditory cognition with an emphasis on auditory scene analysis. We infer that musical training may offer potential benefits to complex listening and might be utilized as a means to delay or even attenuate declines in auditory perception and cognition that often emerge later in life.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Hearing research
  • Source
    • "Also, individual differences in WMC were negatively related to the magnitude of the ABR. These results are particularly supportive of a unitary view of attention whereby a late/central mechanism (working memory) suppresses—to the extent of its capacity—irrelevant sensory information (Klemen et al., 2010; Mozolic et al., 2008; SanMiguel et al., 2008; Zhang et al., 2006; Dyson et al., 2005). Attention seems to be used as a " gatekeeper " in the service of working memory to protect its capacity-limited processing space from overload (Awh, Vogel, & Oh, 2006)—as is particularly needed when working memory task-load is high—and, at least in this study, operates at an early processing stage. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Two fundamental research questions have driven attention re-search in the past: One concerns whether selection of relevant information among competing, irrelevant, information takes place at an early or at a late processing stage; the other concerns whether the capacity of attention is limited by a central, domain-general pool of resources or by independent, modality-specific pools. In this ar-ticle, we contribute to these debates by showing that the auditory-evoked brainstem response (an early stage of auditory processing) to task-irrelevant sound decreases as a function of central working memory load (manipulated with a visual–verbal version of the n-back task). Furthermore, individual differences in central/ domain-general working memory capacity modulated the magnitude of the auditory-evoked brainstem response, but only in the high working memory load condition. The results support a unified view of attention whereby the capacity of a late/central mechanism (work-ing memory) modulates early precortical sensory processing. ■
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Source
    • "Also, individual differences in WMC were negatively related to the magnitude of the ABR. These results are particularly supportive of a unitary view of attention whereby a late/central mechanism (working memory) suppresses—to the extent of its capacity—irrelevant sensory information (Klemen et al., 2010; Mozolic et al., 2008; SanMiguel et al., 2008; Zhang et al., 2006; Dyson et al., 2005). Attention seems to be used as a " gatekeeper " in the service of working memory to protect its capacity-limited processing space from overload (Awh, Vogel, & Oh, 2006)—as is particularly needed when working memory task-load is high—and, at least in this study, operates at an early processing stage. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Two fundamental research questions have driven attention research in the past: One concerns whether selection of relevant information among competing, irrelevant, information takes place at an early or at a late processing stage; the other concerns whether the capacity of attention is limited by a central, domain-general pool of resources or by independent, modality-specific pools. In this article, we contribute to these debates by showing that the auditory-evoked brainstem response (an early stage of auditory processing) to task-irrelevant sound decreases as a function of central working memory load (manipulated with a visual-verbal version of the n-back task). Furthermore, individual differences in central/domain-general working memory capacity modulated the magnitude of the auditory-evoked brainstem response, but only in the high working memory load condition. The results support a unified view of attention whereby the capacity of a late/central mechanism (working memory) modulates early precortical sensory processing.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Show more