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Temporal dynamics of auditory and cross-modal attention : an investigation of dual-task deficits.

Greene, Giles J. 2005. Temporal dynamics of auditory and cross-modal attention : an investigation of dual-task deficits. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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When identifying two masked targets presented in rapid succession, awareness of the second may be reduced when it is presented between 100 and 400 ms after the first. This phenomenon has been termed the attentional blink (AB). A wealth of knowledge has been collected regarding performance when both targets are presented visually; however, evidence concerning an auditory analogue has been scarce. Nine experiments presented here demonstrate that the auditory attentional blink (AAB) shares some commonalities with but also has some differences from the visual attentional blink (VAB). Two experiments examined cross-modal dual-task interactions and provide only equivocal evidence for a cross-modal AB. All eleven experiments demonstrated the influence of non-target (distractor) items upon target detection. It was shown that presenting targets within an ordered distractor sequence was an important pre-requisite for the AAB. In addition, the level of exposure to the distractor sequence before the presentation of the first target (T1) moderated target identification. Increasing practice (incorporating target and distractors) also attenuates the magnitude of the AAB. In a similar vein, targets of a different stimulus set to that of the distractors also attenuate the AAB. Unlike the VAB, introducing a switch in stimulus set between targets increased performance at early SOAs. For the VAB, very little consideration has been given to items occurring before T1, and the pre-eminent masking role of the +1 item is reflected in all theoretical explanations of the VAB. However, the AAB may rely on items occurring before as well as after the targets. It is well established that the nature of the auditory scene provided by the distractors may change the way that targets are defined and processed. Thus, processing restrictions demonstrated by the AAB may not arise specifically from masking but due to the demands of target extraction from ordered perceptual streams.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
ISBN: 9781303174858
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2017 08:24

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