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I agree that developments in theory and research on attending to auditory
events have taken a back seat to those found in vision research. But a few
labs have focused on the topic over the years. Watson's lab is one.
Another is our lab at Ohio State. My colleagues and I have been working
on issues surrounding dynamic attending to auditory events (auditory
patterns including music) for over two decades. Since 1976, we have
pursued hypotheses that (in one form or another) consider if attending is
controlled (in part) by the time structure of events themselves (e.g., event
rhythm, rate, frequency changes etc.). The core of this approach posits that
attending is inherently temporal, based on the activity of sets of internal
periodicities (i.e., attending rhythms or oscillators). These periodicities
are assumed to be capable of entraining of corresponding time intervals
within auditory events depending on the events' structural properties.
Essentially, we assume various periodic attentional pulses, that are more or
less "well-timed" vis a vis a sequence, can determine how well people might pick
information unfolding within some dynamic array. Various specific hypotheses
the way factors such as event rhythm, frequency relationships, tempo affect: a)
detection; b) pitch change detection; c) memory for melody; d)tracking
an extended pattern in time; e) time estimation; f) skill (musical training
effects) on dynamic attending, and so on.
Anyone interested in reprints on such topics should drop me a line.
mari riess jones
ohio state university