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October 2021

The effect of stimulus type and directed attention on dichotic listening with children

Author(s): Boliek, C. A., Obrzut, A.

Journal/Book: J Exp Child Psychol. 1986; 41: 198-209.

Abstract: This research investigated the effect of stimulus type and directed attention on dichotic listening performance with children. A sample of 12 (5 male, 7 female; mean age 10.5 years) high academically performing children were administered four types of dichotic stimuli (words, digits, CV syllables, and melodies) in three experimental conditions (free recall, directed left, and directed right) to examine perceptual asymmetry as reflected by the right-ear advantage (REA). While the expected REA for words and CV syllables and the expected LEA for melodies were found under free recall, the directed conditions produced varied results depending on the nature of the stimuli. Directed condition had no effect on recall of CV syllables but had a dramatic effect on recall of digits. Word stimuli and directed condition interacted to produce inconsistent perceptual asymmetry while directed condition reduced overall recall for melodies. The findings lend support to the hypothesis that perceptual asymmetries can be strongly influenced by the type of stimulus material used and the effect of attentional strategy employed.

Keyword(s): Attention|. Auditory Perception|. Dominance, Cerebral|

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