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What we expect is not always what we get: evidence for both the direction-of-change and the specific-stimulus hypotheses of auditory attentional capture.

Nöstl A, Marsh JE, Sörqvist P - PLoS ONE (2014)

Bottom Line: Experiment 1 found that deviants capture attention as a function of the pitch difference between the deviant and the replaced/expected tone.The results support the expectation violation account of auditory distraction and suggest that there are at least two different expectations that can be violated: One appears to be bound to a specific stimulus and the other would seem to be bound to a more global cross-stimulus rule such as the direction-of-change based on a sequence of preceding sound events.Factors like base-rate probability of tones within the sound environment might become the driving mechanism of attentional capture--rather than violated expectations--in complex sound environments.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.

ABSTRACT
Participants were requested to respond to a sequence of visual targets while listening to a well-known lullaby. One of the notes in the lullaby was occasionally exchanged with a pattern deviant. Experiment 1 found that deviants capture attention as a function of the pitch difference between the deviant and the replaced/expected tone. However, when the pitch difference between the expected tone and the deviant tone is held constant, a violation to the direction-of-pitch change across tones can also capture attention (Experiment 2). Moreover, in more complex auditory environments, wherein it is difficult to build a coherent neural model of the sound environment from which expectations are formed, deviations can capture attention but it appears to matter less whether this is a violation from a specific stimulus or a violation of the current direction-of-change (Experiment 3). The results support the expectation violation account of auditory distraction and suggest that there are at least two different expectations that can be violated: One appears to be bound to a specific stimulus and the other would seem to be bound to a more global cross-stimulus rule such as the direction-of-change based on a sequence of preceding sound events. Factors like base-rate probability of tones within the sound environment might become the driving mechanism of attentional capture--rather than violated expectations--in complex sound environments.

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Mean response times in Experment 2.The pattern deviant E6 was more disruptive when presented in a tone scale context that made it violate the expected direction-of-pitch change. Error bars represent standard error of means.
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pone-0111997-g005: Mean response times in Experment 2.The pattern deviant E6 was more disruptive when presented in a tone scale context that made it violate the expected direction-of-pitch change. Error bars represent standard error of means.

Mentions: As seen in Figure 5, the pattern deviant captured attention, and the magnitude of attentional capture was increased in the case where the pattern deviant violated the current directional pitch change compared to when it was consistent with it. These conclusions were supported by a 2(Sound: Standard vs. Deviant) ×2(Current direction of pitch change: Rise vs. Fall) repeated-measures ANOVA which revealed a main effect of Sound, F(1, 34)  = 31.52, MSE = 421.93, p<.001, ηp2 = .48, and a main effect of Current direction of pitch change, F(1, 34)  = 17.86, MSE = 268.33, p<.001, ηp2 = .34, and most importantly, a significant interaction between the factors was found, F(1, 34)  = 9.05, MSE = 179.33, p = .005, ηp2 = .21. Follow up t-tests revealed an increased difference in response time between the pattern deviant and the standard tone when the direction of pitch was violated by the deviant (M = 26.31, SD = 26.73) compared to when the direction of pitch was not violated by the deviant (M = 12.68, SD = 22.11), t(34)  = 3.01, p = .005. Whereas the results in Experiment 1 lend support for the specific stimulus hypothesis, the results obtained in Experiment 2 reveal that the magnitude of attentional capture increases in the case of a violation of the direction of pitch change and therefore the results support the direction-of-change hypothesis.


What we expect is not always what we get: evidence for both the direction-of-change and the specific-stimulus hypotheses of auditory attentional capture.

Nöstl A, Marsh JE, Sörqvist P - PLoS ONE (2014)

Mean response times in Experment 2.The pattern deviant E6 was more disruptive when presented in a tone scale context that made it violate the expected direction-of-pitch change. Error bars represent standard error of means.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4230934&req=5

pone-0111997-g005: Mean response times in Experment 2.The pattern deviant E6 was more disruptive when presented in a tone scale context that made it violate the expected direction-of-pitch change. Error bars represent standard error of means.
Mentions: As seen in Figure 5, the pattern deviant captured attention, and the magnitude of attentional capture was increased in the case where the pattern deviant violated the current directional pitch change compared to when it was consistent with it. These conclusions were supported by a 2(Sound: Standard vs. Deviant) ×2(Current direction of pitch change: Rise vs. Fall) repeated-measures ANOVA which revealed a main effect of Sound, F(1, 34)  = 31.52, MSE = 421.93, p<.001, ηp2 = .48, and a main effect of Current direction of pitch change, F(1, 34)  = 17.86, MSE = 268.33, p<.001, ηp2 = .34, and most importantly, a significant interaction between the factors was found, F(1, 34)  = 9.05, MSE = 179.33, p = .005, ηp2 = .21. Follow up t-tests revealed an increased difference in response time between the pattern deviant and the standard tone when the direction of pitch was violated by the deviant (M = 26.31, SD = 26.73) compared to when the direction of pitch was not violated by the deviant (M = 12.68, SD = 22.11), t(34)  = 3.01, p = .005. Whereas the results in Experiment 1 lend support for the specific stimulus hypothesis, the results obtained in Experiment 2 reveal that the magnitude of attentional capture increases in the case of a violation of the direction of pitch change and therefore the results support the direction-of-change hypothesis.

Bottom Line: Experiment 1 found that deviants capture attention as a function of the pitch difference between the deviant and the replaced/expected tone.The results support the expectation violation account of auditory distraction and suggest that there are at least two different expectations that can be violated: One appears to be bound to a specific stimulus and the other would seem to be bound to a more global cross-stimulus rule such as the direction-of-change based on a sequence of preceding sound events.Factors like base-rate probability of tones within the sound environment might become the driving mechanism of attentional capture--rather than violated expectations--in complex sound environments.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, University of Gävle, Gävle, Sweden.

ABSTRACT
Participants were requested to respond to a sequence of visual targets while listening to a well-known lullaby. One of the notes in the lullaby was occasionally exchanged with a pattern deviant. Experiment 1 found that deviants capture attention as a function of the pitch difference between the deviant and the replaced/expected tone. However, when the pitch difference between the expected tone and the deviant tone is held constant, a violation to the direction-of-pitch change across tones can also capture attention (Experiment 2). Moreover, in more complex auditory environments, wherein it is difficult to build a coherent neural model of the sound environment from which expectations are formed, deviations can capture attention but it appears to matter less whether this is a violation from a specific stimulus or a violation of the current direction-of-change (Experiment 3). The results support the expectation violation account of auditory distraction and suggest that there are at least two different expectations that can be violated: One appears to be bound to a specific stimulus and the other would seem to be bound to a more global cross-stimulus rule such as the direction-of-change based on a sequence of preceding sound events. Factors like base-rate probability of tones within the sound environment might become the driving mechanism of attentional capture--rather than violated expectations--in complex sound environments.

Show MeSH