Event Title

An Examination of Auditory Experience and Change Deafness to Natural Scenes

Mentor 1

Melissa Gregg, Ph.D.

Location

Union 260

Start Date

24-4-2015 1:20 PM

Description

Change deafness is the remarkable inability of listeners to detect changes occurring in their auditory environment. Demonstrations of change deafness imply that our experience of the world is not as detailed as our subjective impressions would suggest. The purpose of this study was to determine if specialized listening experiences affect the ability to detect auditory changes; specifically we compared change detection performance of a group of non-musicians with change detection performance of a group of musicians with specialized training in melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic dictation. Both groups made a same/different judgment on two consecutive auditory scenes that had the same sounds or one differing sound. The number of sounds in each scene was varied (2, 4, or 6), as well as the type of sound (recognizable environmental sounds, unrecognizable, scrambled versions of the environmental sounds, noise rhythms, and pure tone rhythms). We predicted that the musicians would be more likely to hear changes in the noise and tone rhythms than non-musicians and that both groups would be equally likely to miss changes in the recognizable and unrecognizable environmental sounds. These findings would indicate that although change deafness occurs in both groups, musicians with specialized rhythmic training have an increased capacity to detect and process changes in auditory scenes, and that such improvement in auditory change detection can be a learned skill.

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Apr 24th, 1:20 PM

An Examination of Auditory Experience and Change Deafness to Natural Scenes

Union 260

Change deafness is the remarkable inability of listeners to detect changes occurring in their auditory environment. Demonstrations of change deafness imply that our experience of the world is not as detailed as our subjective impressions would suggest. The purpose of this study was to determine if specialized listening experiences affect the ability to detect auditory changes; specifically we compared change detection performance of a group of non-musicians with change detection performance of a group of musicians with specialized training in melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic dictation. Both groups made a same/different judgment on two consecutive auditory scenes that had the same sounds or one differing sound. The number of sounds in each scene was varied (2, 4, or 6), as well as the type of sound (recognizable environmental sounds, unrecognizable, scrambled versions of the environmental sounds, noise rhythms, and pure tone rhythms). We predicted that the musicians would be more likely to hear changes in the noise and tone rhythms than non-musicians and that both groups would be equally likely to miss changes in the recognizable and unrecognizable environmental sounds. These findings would indicate that although change deafness occurs in both groups, musicians with specialized rhythmic training have an increased capacity to detect and process changes in auditory scenes, and that such improvement in auditory change detection can be a learned skill.