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October 2021

Organizational factors in selective attention: The interplay of acoustic distinctiveness and auditory streaming in the irrelevant sound effect

Author(s): Alford, D., Bridges, A., Tremblay, S., Macken, B.

Journal/Book: J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn. 1999; 25: 750 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242, USA. Amer Psychological Assoc. 464-473.

Abstract: A series of studies further explored the way in which irrelevant sound disrupts the serial recall of visually presented verbal sequences. The hypothesis that distinctiveness (stimulus mismatch) within auditory irrelevant sequences is a critical determinant of disruption of serial recall was tested. Experiment 1 showed that the degree of disruption was related to the degree of mismatch between successive stimuli. However, in Experiment 2, changes in 2 attributes of a stimulus produced less disruption than when only 1 was changed, suggesting mismatch alone was not the key factor. These results were reconciled with the changing-state hypothesis in Experiment 3 in which change and disruption were monotonically related up to the point at which mismatch created 2 streams. Object-based theories are able to explain this pattern of results.

Note: Article Jones D, Cardiff Univ, Sch Psychol, Tower Bldg, Pk Pl, POB 901, Cardiff CF1 34G, S Glam, WALES

Keyword(s): SHORT-TERM-MEMORY; CHANGING-STATE HYPOTHESIS; WORKING-MEMORY; PHONOLOGICAL SIMILARITY; SERIAL-RECALL; SPEECH; DISRUPTION; TONES; INTERFERENCE; LOCATION


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