Why are auditory novels distracting? Contrasting the roles of novelty, violation of expectation and stimulus change

Journal article


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Publication Details

Author list: Barceló F
Publisher: Elsevier: 12 months
Publication year: 2011
Volume number: 119
Issue number: 3
Start page: 374
End page: 380
Number of pages: 7
ISSN: 0010-0277
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


Past studies show that novel auditory stimuli, presented in the context
of an otherwise repeated sound, capture participants' attention away
from a focal task, resulting in measurable behavioral distraction. Novel
sounds are traditionally defined as rare and unexpected but past
studies have not sought to disentangle these concepts directly. Using a
cross-modal oddball task, we contrasted these aspects orthogonally by
manipulating the base rate and conditional probabilities of sound
events. We report for the first time that behavioral distraction does
not result from a sound's novelty per se but from the violation of the
cognitive system's expectation based on the learning of conditional
probabilities and, to some extent, the occurrence of a perceptual change
from one sound to another.


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Last updated on 2019-13-08 at 00:45