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Response to Dan Freed, inre attentional effects.

(this got kicked back the first time, trying again)

Dan, inre you quest for auditory attentional effects:

We have shown some effects of selective listening (to specific components
of a temporal sequence) that can be interpreted as reflecting auditory
attentional focus.  In these cases "attention" seems to account for as
much as a 40-50 dB reduction in the detection threshold for the individual
components of a word-length tonal pattern, or reductions of 10x or more in
the size of thresholds for changes in component frequency, intensity, or
duration.  Much of this work is summarized in a chapter in the book that
Bill Yost and I edited on the perception of complex sounds (Erlbaum, '87).
Among the factors that "matter" in this work, stimulus uncertainty, or
familiarity, were at the top of the list.  All the experiments were done
with highly trained subjects.

(Your query seemed to call for this "commercial message"...)

Chuck Watson

On Mon, 14 Nov 1994, Dan Freed wrote:

> Subject:  attention
> Malcolm Slaney writes:
> Attention helps us to focus on parts of our environment.  It's well known
> in vision that orienting a subject can improve their ability to react to a
> visual event.  The orienting can either be direct (look here) or indirect
> (look over there).  Either way works.  (Oh, the vision people have it so
> easy.)
> But what about auditory attention?  Previous studies have not shown an
> analogous effect.  Does this mean that there is no way to orient a subject
> with an auditory signal, or we haven't found the right signal.  What is the
> right way to talk about auditory attention?  What factors matter?
> -- END of quoted material
> When you say that studies have not been able to show an auditory orientation
> effect analogous to the visual one, are you referring only to spatial
> orientation?  What about a frequency orientation effect?  For that matter,
> is there a spatial frequency orientation effect in vision?
> - Dan Freed (dfreed@sonic.com)