Event Title

Can Attention Select Auditory Objects?

Presenter Information

AnnDee Johnson

Mentor 1

Adam S. Greenberg

Mentor 2

Gennadiy Gurariy

Location

Union Wisconsin Room

Start Date

27-4-2018 1:00 PM

Description

Attention gates sensory input by selecting and enhancing the behaviorally relevant subset of incoming data. However, it is unclear whether attention is domain-general or domain-specific with regard to different sensory modalities. Research on attention (conducted most frequently in the visual domain), has demonstrated that attentional selection can act upon features, spatial locations, or objects. Evidence for the latter case (known as Object-Based Attention; OBA) has shown that attended objects garner enhanced processing compared to unattended objects, even when spatial locations are overlapping or equidistant. Our goal is to investigate whether OBA in the auditory domain operates analogously to the visual domain. To induce the percept of separate but simultaneous auditory objects, participants will hear two simultaneous streams of auditory tones (spaced by ~20 msec) segregated by sound frequency (i.e., one high frequency stream and one low frequency stream). On each trial, attention will be cued to one object via the spoken word cues "low" or "high". Next, a change in amplitude will cue a specific frequency within that object (e.g., 500Hz, within a 250Hz – 750Hz object) while subjects listen for a repetition, to which they respond via button press. This target tone repetition can be either valid (the tone matches the frequency cue and is in the same, cued object), invalid-same (the tone does not match the frequency cue but is in the same, cued object), or invalid-different (the tone does not match the frequency cue and is in the other, non-cued object). If OBA functions analogously in vison and audition, we should observe significantly better performance on invalid-same versus invalid-different trials, indicating an advantage for attended objects. Conversely, equivalent performance in these conditions would suggest that auditory attention cannot select object information. If our hypothesis is supported, we will conduct subsequent studies to more fully understand auditory OBA.

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Apr 27th, 1:00 PM

Can Attention Select Auditory Objects?

Union Wisconsin Room

Attention gates sensory input by selecting and enhancing the behaviorally relevant subset of incoming data. However, it is unclear whether attention is domain-general or domain-specific with regard to different sensory modalities. Research on attention (conducted most frequently in the visual domain), has demonstrated that attentional selection can act upon features, spatial locations, or objects. Evidence for the latter case (known as Object-Based Attention; OBA) has shown that attended objects garner enhanced processing compared to unattended objects, even when spatial locations are overlapping or equidistant. Our goal is to investigate whether OBA in the auditory domain operates analogously to the visual domain. To induce the percept of separate but simultaneous auditory objects, participants will hear two simultaneous streams of auditory tones (spaced by ~20 msec) segregated by sound frequency (i.e., one high frequency stream and one low frequency stream). On each trial, attention will be cued to one object via the spoken word cues "low" or "high". Next, a change in amplitude will cue a specific frequency within that object (e.g., 500Hz, within a 250Hz – 750Hz object) while subjects listen for a repetition, to which they respond via button press. This target tone repetition can be either valid (the tone matches the frequency cue and is in the same, cued object), invalid-same (the tone does not match the frequency cue but is in the same, cued object), or invalid-different (the tone does not match the frequency cue and is in the other, non-cued object). If OBA functions analogously in vison and audition, we should observe significantly better performance on invalid-same versus invalid-different trials, indicating an advantage for attended objects. Conversely, equivalent performance in these conditions would suggest that auditory attention cannot select object information. If our hypothesis is supported, we will conduct subsequent studies to more fully understand auditory OBA.