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Dimension-specific attention directs learning and listening on auditory training tasks.

Halliday LF, Moore DR, Taylor JL, Amitay S - Atten Percept Psychophys (2011)

Bottom Line: A third, control group did not receive any training.However, only the ID-train group also showed changes in performance accuracy as a function of interval with training on the ID task.These findings suggest that top-down, dimension-specific attention can direct auditory learning, even when this learning is not reflected in conventional performance measures of threshold change.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: MRC Institute of Hearing Research, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK. l.halliday@ucl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
The relative contributions of bottom-up versus top-down sensory inputs to auditory learning are not well established. In our experiment, listeners were instructed to perform either a frequency discrimination (FD) task ("FD-train group") or an intensity discrimination (ID) task ("ID-train group") during training on a set of physically identical tones that were impossible to discriminate consistently above chance, allowing us to vary top-down attention whilst keeping bottom-up inputs fixed. A third, control group did not receive any training. Only the FD-train group improved on a FD probe following training, whereas all groups improved on ID following training. However, only the ID-train group also showed changes in performance accuracy as a function of interval with training on the ID task. These findings suggest that top-down, dimension-specific attention can direct auditory learning, even when this learning is not reflected in conventional performance measures of threshold change.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

(Top) (A) Frequency discrimination (FD) thresholds (mean ± SEM) and (B) intensity discrimination (ID) thresholds during pre- and posttraining for the FD-train, ID-train, and control groups. (Middle) Overall learning (mean ± SEM) for (C) the FD task and (D) the ID task for the three groups. Asterisks mark significant learning (p < .05; Bonferroni corrected for three multiple comparisons). (Bottom) Pre- and posttraining (E) FD and (F) ID thresholds for listeners in the three groups. “Learners” (see text) are represented by black lines. “Nonlearners” (see text) are represented by grey lines
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Fig2: (Top) (A) Frequency discrimination (FD) thresholds (mean ± SEM) and (B) intensity discrimination (ID) thresholds during pre- and posttraining for the FD-train, ID-train, and control groups. (Middle) Overall learning (mean ± SEM) for (C) the FD task and (D) the ID task for the three groups. Asterisks mark significant learning (p < .05; Bonferroni corrected for three multiple comparisons). (Bottom) Pre- and posttraining (E) FD and (F) ID thresholds for listeners in the three groups. “Learners” (see text) are represented by black lines. “Nonlearners” (see text) are represented by grey lines

Mentions: To assess the effects of training, we first calculated pre- and posttraining DLFs and DLIs for the three groups (Figs. 2A and B). Learning indices for each group were then calculated as the difference between pre- and posttraining log-transformed DLFs/DLIs (Figs. 2C and D). Paired-samples t tests were conducted to assess whether any of the groups showed learning on either of the two tasks. For the FD task, only the FD-train group showed significant learning (p ≤ .02, correcting for three comparisons). For the ID task, all groups showed significant learning, although learning for the FD-train group was not significant after controlling for multiple comparisons (p = .04). These findings were supported by analyses showing that, for the FD task, only the FD-train group had a significantly higher proportion of “learners” (i.e., listeners who showed a pre- to posttraining improvement that was >√2, the step size in the adaptive staircase) than of “nonlearners” (those who did not) [χ2(2) = 7.10, p = .03]. For the ID task, in contrast, there was no significant difference between the three groups in the proportions of learners and nonlearners [χ2(2) = 0.06, p = .97] (Figs. 2E and F).Fig. 2


Dimension-specific attention directs learning and listening on auditory training tasks.

Halliday LF, Moore DR, Taylor JL, Amitay S - Atten Percept Psychophys (2011)

(Top) (A) Frequency discrimination (FD) thresholds (mean ± SEM) and (B) intensity discrimination (ID) thresholds during pre- and posttraining for the FD-train, ID-train, and control groups. (Middle) Overall learning (mean ± SEM) for (C) the FD task and (D) the ID task for the three groups. Asterisks mark significant learning (p < .05; Bonferroni corrected for three multiple comparisons). (Bottom) Pre- and posttraining (E) FD and (F) ID thresholds for listeners in the three groups. “Learners” (see text) are represented by black lines. “Nonlearners” (see text) are represented by grey lines
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Related In: Results  -  Collection

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getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3117994&req=5

Fig2: (Top) (A) Frequency discrimination (FD) thresholds (mean ± SEM) and (B) intensity discrimination (ID) thresholds during pre- and posttraining for the FD-train, ID-train, and control groups. (Middle) Overall learning (mean ± SEM) for (C) the FD task and (D) the ID task for the three groups. Asterisks mark significant learning (p < .05; Bonferroni corrected for three multiple comparisons). (Bottom) Pre- and posttraining (E) FD and (F) ID thresholds for listeners in the three groups. “Learners” (see text) are represented by black lines. “Nonlearners” (see text) are represented by grey lines
Mentions: To assess the effects of training, we first calculated pre- and posttraining DLFs and DLIs for the three groups (Figs. 2A and B). Learning indices for each group were then calculated as the difference between pre- and posttraining log-transformed DLFs/DLIs (Figs. 2C and D). Paired-samples t tests were conducted to assess whether any of the groups showed learning on either of the two tasks. For the FD task, only the FD-train group showed significant learning (p ≤ .02, correcting for three comparisons). For the ID task, all groups showed significant learning, although learning for the FD-train group was not significant after controlling for multiple comparisons (p = .04). These findings were supported by analyses showing that, for the FD task, only the FD-train group had a significantly higher proportion of “learners” (i.e., listeners who showed a pre- to posttraining improvement that was >√2, the step size in the adaptive staircase) than of “nonlearners” (those who did not) [χ2(2) = 7.10, p = .03]. For the ID task, in contrast, there was no significant difference between the three groups in the proportions of learners and nonlearners [χ2(2) = 0.06, p = .97] (Figs. 2E and F).Fig. 2

Bottom Line: A third, control group did not receive any training.However, only the ID-train group also showed changes in performance accuracy as a function of interval with training on the ID task.These findings suggest that top-down, dimension-specific attention can direct auditory learning, even when this learning is not reflected in conventional performance measures of threshold change.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: MRC Institute of Hearing Research, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK. l.halliday@ucl.ac.uk

ABSTRACT
The relative contributions of bottom-up versus top-down sensory inputs to auditory learning are not well established. In our experiment, listeners were instructed to perform either a frequency discrimination (FD) task ("FD-train group") or an intensity discrimination (ID) task ("ID-train group") during training on a set of physically identical tones that were impossible to discriminate consistently above chance, allowing us to vary top-down attention whilst keeping bottom-up inputs fixed. A third, control group did not receive any training. Only the FD-train group improved on a FD probe following training, whereas all groups improved on ID following training. However, only the ID-train group also showed changes in performance accuracy as a function of interval with training on the ID task. These findings suggest that top-down, dimension-specific attention can direct auditory learning, even when this learning is not reflected in conventional performance measures of threshold change.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus