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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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Related in: MedlinePlus

Mean response times in Experiment 3.‘Expected direction’ is the condition where the strophe was played in C-major, whereas ‘Opposite direction’ is the condition where the strophe was played in F-major. Error bars represent standard error of means.
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pone-0111997-g007: Mean response times in Experiment 3.‘Expected direction’ is the condition where the strophe was played in C-major, whereas ‘Opposite direction’ is the condition where the strophe was played in F-major. Error bars represent standard error of means.

Mentions: As can be seen in Figure 7, pattern deviants captured attention, and the difference between means were in line with the expected trend. However, the statistical analyses indicated that it did not matter whether the pattern deviant violated the current directional pitch change or whether the pattern deviant was consistent with the directional pitch change. Moreover, there is no observable difference between the two pattern deviants. These conclusions were supported by a 3(Sound: Standard vs. ’E6’ vs. ‘B6’) ×2(Current direction of pitch change: Rise vs. Fall) repeated measures ANOVA which revealed a main effect of Sound, F(2, 50)  = 10.21, MSE = 302.04, p<.001, ηp2 = .29, and a main effect of Current direction of pitch change, F(1, 25)  = 6.03, MSE = 249.44, p = .021, ηp2 = .19. However, no significant interaction between the factors was found, F(2, 50)  = 0.71, MSE = 305.10, p = .497, ηp2 = .03. Follow up t-tests on the main effect of Sound revealed an increased mean response time for the ‘E6’ pattern deviant and the ‘B6’ pattern deviant compared to the standard tone, t(25)  = 3.93, p<.001, and t(25)  = 3.57, p<.001, respectively. However, no difference between the pattern deviants ‘E6’ and ‘B6’ was found, t(25)  = −0.08, p = .940.


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 Experiment 3.‘Expected direction’ is the condition where the strophe was played in C-major, whereas ‘Opposite direction’ is the condition where the strophe was played in F-major. 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-g007: Mean response times in Experiment 3.‘Expected direction’ is the condition where the strophe was played in C-major, whereas ‘Opposite direction’ is the condition where the strophe was played in F-major. Error bars represent standard error of means.
Mentions: As can be seen in Figure 7, pattern deviants captured attention, and the difference between means were in line with the expected trend. However, the statistical analyses indicated that it did not matter whether the pattern deviant violated the current directional pitch change or whether the pattern deviant was consistent with the directional pitch change. Moreover, there is no observable difference between the two pattern deviants. These conclusions were supported by a 3(Sound: Standard vs. ’E6’ vs. ‘B6’) ×2(Current direction of pitch change: Rise vs. Fall) repeated measures ANOVA which revealed a main effect of Sound, F(2, 50)  = 10.21, MSE = 302.04, p<.001, ηp2 = .29, and a main effect of Current direction of pitch change, F(1, 25)  = 6.03, MSE = 249.44, p = .021, ηp2 = .19. However, no significant interaction between the factors was found, F(2, 50)  = 0.71, MSE = 305.10, p = .497, ηp2 = .03. Follow up t-tests on the main effect of Sound revealed an increased mean response time for the ‘E6’ pattern deviant and the ‘B6’ pattern deviant compared to the standard tone, t(25)  = 3.93, p<.001, and t(25)  = 3.57, p<.001, respectively. However, no difference between the pattern deviants ‘E6’ and ‘B6’ was found, t(25)  = −0.08, p = .940.

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
Related in: MedlinePlus