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  Attending to the Auditory Scene Improves Situational Awareness

Scheer, M., Bülthoff, H., & Chuang, L. (2019). Attending to the Auditory Scene Improves Situational Awareness. In H. Ayaz, & F. Dehais (Eds.), Neuroergonomics: the brain at work and in everyday life (pp. 251-252). London, UK: Elsevier, Academic Press. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-811926-6.00060-9.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-3685-A Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-3686-9
Genre: Book Chapter

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 Creators:
Scheer, M1, 2, Author              
Bülthoff, HH1, 2, Author              
Chuang, LL1, 2, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497797              
2Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society, ou_1497794              

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 Abstract: Early studies suggested that auditory stimuli are only (cognitively) processed if they are relevant for the task. However, studies that are more recent show that this is not necessarily true. Rather, it depends on the nature of the auditory stimuli. Environmental sounds are processed even when they are irrelevant for the task and even when participants are engaged in demanding visual tasks. These latter results can be interpreted within the framework of situational awareness. To maintain situational awareness, it is essential to continuously scan the environment for unexpected sounds that might not be of immediate task relevance but could inform us about important changes in the environment. In the current study, we investigate whether and how the scanning for, and processing of, environmental sounds—in other words, situational awareness of the auditory scene—is influenced by auditory attention manipulations. Here, auditory attention was manipulated by requiring participants to perform an auditory oddball-detection task or not, while task-irrelevant environmental sounds were occasionally presented in the background. The current study answers the following questions: (1) Is the processing of environmental sounds influenced by manipulations of auditory attention or is it an automatic process? (2) Is the processing of irrelevant environmental sounds attenuated or enhanced by auditory attention? On the one hand, the processing of the irrelevant environmental sounds could be attenuated, because the additional task increases the demand for auditory attentional resources. On the other hand, the processing of the environmental sounds could be enhanced because more attention is directed toward the auditory channel to optimize performance in the auditory oddball-detection task.

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 Dates: 20182019
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
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Title: Neuroergonomics: the brain at work and in everyday life
Source Genre: Book
 Creator(s):
Ayaz, H, Editor
Dehais, F, Editor
Affiliations:
-
Publ. Info: London, UK : Elsevier, Academic Press
Pages: 339 Volume / Issue: - Sequence Number: 60 Start / End Page: 251 - 252 Identifier: ISI: 978-0-12-811926-6