Broken expectations: violation of expectancies, not novelty, captures auditory attention.

Abstract Text

The role of memory in behavioral distraction by auditory attentional capture was investigated: We examined whether capture is a product of the novelty of the capturing event (i.e., the absence of a recent memory for the event) or its violation of learned expectancies on the basis of a memory for an event structure. Attentional capture-indicated by disruption of a focal visually presented serial recall task-was found when the voice conveying a concurrent irrelevant auditory sequence changed every 5 recall trials (from male to female or vice versa). There was no evidence of attentional capture when the irrelevant sequence was first encountered and hence novel; capture occurred only when an expectation for a particular voice had been learned and then violated. Furthermore, with the increasing predictability of (and hence expectancy for) the voice changes across the experimental session, the capture response diminished only to be reinstated when that session-wide expectation was itself violated by a break in the change-every-5-trials pattern. The results highlight the critical role of learned expectations, as opposed to novelty detection, in behavioral auditory attentional capture.

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2016-09-08 03:39:43

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Citation:- Vachon F, Hughes F, Jones F, .Broken expectations: violation of expectancies, not novelty, captures auditory attention. Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition 2012-Jan;38()164-77 DOI:10.1037/a0025054

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Details of Journal

Journal Title - Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition

ISSN - 1939-1285

Volume - 38

Issue - 1

Publish date - 2012-Jan

Language - eng

Country - United States


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