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Attentional Issues Re-cap

Dear Colleagues,

Several weeks ago I posted to the list inquiring about attentional listening,
particularly as regards the Treisman/Gelade's feature integration theory
(FIT).  Here are some responses for your digestion:

Mark Pitt writes:
        I looked into this issue in the speech domain for my
dissertation. There is not much out there, as you probably already know.
Curiously, all the early attention work examined divided attention
using auditory stim, but rarely did anyone examine selective attention
within a single stream. Handel's work provides some insight into
the perception of global structure with multiple rhythmic lines (He has
an '86 paper, I believe that reviews most of his work. I think it is
in Music Perception). Also try Bertram Scharf's work with Huiping Dia,
which examines selective attention in threshold estimation. I think
the papers are in JASA. I have a paper with Arty Samuel (JML, 1990)
which examined how finely attention could be focused in speech. The
perspective is from work in word recognition and what it can tell us, so
it may not be what you are after. You might find the references useful.

Richard Pastore has been doing some recent work on this topic. Contact
him for a paper he gave at ASA last Spring.
Pierre Divenyi writes:

We are currently studying focused listening, in a virtual auditory
free field, by enterior temporal lobectomy patients pre- and post-
operatively. This is to say that, hopefully soon, we will have
some interesting data not only on the process but also on some
of its presumed neural mechanisms.
Joyce Tang Boyland writes:

You might try Schlauch, Hafter, and Tang in a very recent issue of JASA.
There is also a Hafter&Schlauch paper or two cited in its references
that might be useful.
Chris Darwin

Erv Hafter in the August 1993 JASA describes psychoacoustic work on attention
to derived aspects of a complex sound. He has since extended that work.
Avery Wang writes:

Stephen Hillyard has published some articles on attention-dependent ERP
(event-related potential) and ERF (event-related field) activity in the
auditory cortex.  There is a recent article by him in the March-April 1993
issue of _Current Opinion in Neurobiology_.  It's a rather general article and
 cover many aspects of ERPs and ERFs.  Visual and auditory attention are
briefly addressed. The well-commented bibliography leads to more specific
And Bill Thompson writes:

   We recently completed a study applying F.I.T. to audition, using
music stimuli varying in pitch and instrument timbre.  I presented
a small portion of the results at my Acoustical Society talk in Ottawa.
Mike Hall and I are scheduled to present a poster on this work
at the Friday evening session at the meeting of the Psychonomic Society
in Washington, D.C. (Nov. 5).  If you wish, I can send you a copy of
the ASA paper.  The Psychonomic Science poster should be ready in a few
weeks (the data were all collected some time ago, we just need to pull
it all together for the poster and a full manuscript).

 I have a paper in press at Psychmusicology: Pitch pattern,
durational pattern, and timbre: A study of the perceptual
integration of auditory qualities. This paper looks listeners'
sensitivity to how pitch patterns, durational patterns
and timbres are combined under conditions of both
attentive and distracted listening. I have also submitted
another paper to P&P that attempts to look at musical
effects akin to illusory conjunctions -- but in this new
work I dropped the manipulation of attention/distraction.
  Check out Peretz and Morais - Contemporary Music Review
1989, 4, 279-293 -- this looks at neural dissociations
between pitch and rhythm. Also Peretz & Kolinsky, QJEP,
probably just out (was in press when I cited it). "Boundaries
of separability between melody and rhythm in music..."
  Other than my psychomusicology paper, I know of no research in
music that directly manipulates attention vs distraction. It's
a wide open area...

Thank you all.  Just a note:  I believe these issues will become increasingly
important as auditory display research progresses.  What we can attend to,
interaction of variables, issues with multiple auditory streams, and so on.


Gregory Kramer
Clarity/Santa Fe Institute
Nelson Lane
Garrison, NY  10524
fax: 914-424-3467
email: kramer@santafe.edu