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ERIC Number: EJ819425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0277
Towards a Cognitive Model of Distraction by Auditory Novelty: The Role of Involuntary Attention Capture and Semantic Processing
Parmentier, Fabrice B. R.
Cognition, v109 n3 p345-362 Dec 2008
Unexpected auditory stimuli are potent distractors, able to break through selective attention and disrupt performance in an unrelated visual task. This study examined the processing fate of novel sounds by examining the extent to which their semantic content is analyzed and whether the outcome of this processing can impact on subsequent behavior. This issue was investigated across five laboratory experiments in which participants categorized visual left and right arrows while instructed to ignore irrelevant sounds. The results showed that auditory novels that were incongruent with the visual target (e.g., word "left" presented before a right arrow) disrupted performance over and above congruent novels (semantic effect) while both types of novels delayed responses in the visual task compared to a standard sound (novelty effect). No semantic effect was observed for congruent and incongruent standards, suggesting that novelty detection is necessary for involuntary semantic processing to unravel. While the novelty effect augmented as the difference between novels and the standard increased, the semantic effect was immune to this variation. Furthermore, the novelty effect decreased across the task while the semantic effect did not. A general cognitive framework is proposed encompassing these new findings and previous work in an attempt to account for the behavioral impact of irrelevant auditory novels on primary task performance. (Contains 1 table and 5 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A