Behavioral distraction by auditory novelty is not only about novelty: The role of the distracter's informational value

This source preferred by Jane Elsley

Authors: Parmentier, F.B.R., Elsley, J.V. and Ljungberg, J.K.

Journal: Cognition

Volume: 115

Pages: 504-511

ISSN: 0010-0277

DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.03.002

Unexpected events often distract us. In the laboratory, novel auditory stimuli have been shown to capture attention away from a focal visual task and yield specific electrophysiological responses as well as a behavioral cost to performance. previous termDistractionnext term is thought to follow ineluctably from the sound’s low probability of occurrence or, put more simply, its unexpected occurrence. Our study challenges this view with respect to behavioral previous termdistractionnext term and argues that past research failed to identify the informational value of sound as a mediator of novelty previous termdistraction.next term We report an experiment showing that (1) behavioral novelty previous termdistractionnext term is only observed when the sound announces the occurrence and timing of an upcoming visual target (as is the case in all past research); (2) that no such previous termdistractionnext term is observed for deviant sounds conveying no such information; and that (3) deviant sounds can actually facilitate performance when these, but not the standards, convey information. We conclude that behavioral novelty previous termdistraction,next term as observed in oddball tasks, is observed in the presence of novel sounds but only when the cognitive system can take advantage of the auditory distracters to optimize performance.

This data was imported from PubMed:

Authors: Parmentier, F.B.R., Elsley, J.V. and Ljungberg, J.K.

Journal: Cognition

Volume: 115

Issue: 3

Pages: 504-511

eISSN: 1873-7838

DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.03.002

Unexpected events often distract us. In the laboratory, novel auditory stimuli have been shown to capture attention away from a focal visual task and yield specific electrophysiological responses as well as a behavioral cost to performance. Distraction is thought to follow ineluctably from the sound's low probability of occurrence or, put more simply, its unexpected occurrence. Our study challenges this view with respect to behavioral distraction and argues that past research failed to identify the informational value of sound as a mediator of novelty distraction. We report an experiment showing that (1) behavioral novelty distraction is only observed when the sound announces the occurrence and timing of an upcoming visual target (as is the case in all past research); (2) that no such distraction is observed for deviant sounds conveying no such information; and that (3) deviant sounds can actually facilitate performance when these, but not the standards, convey information. We conclude that behavioral novelty distraction, as observed in oddball tasks, is observed in the presence of novel sounds but only when the cognitive system can take advantage of the auditory distracters to optimize performance.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Parmentier, F.B.R., Elsley, J.V. and Ljungberg, J.K.

Journal: Cognition

Volume: 115

Issue: 3

Pages: 504-511

ISSN: 0010-0277

DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.03.002

Unexpected events often distract us. In the laboratory, novel auditory stimuli have been shown to capture attention away from a focal visual task and yield specific electrophysiological responses as well as a behavioral cost to performance. Distraction is thought to follow ineluctably from the sound's low probability of occurrence or, put more simply, its unexpected occurrence. Our study challenges this view with respect to behavioral distraction and argues that past research failed to identify the informational value of sound as a mediator of novelty distraction. We report an experiment showing that (1) behavioral novelty distraction is only observed when the sound announces the occurrence and timing of an upcoming visual target (as is the case in all past research); (2) that no such distraction is observed for deviant sounds conveying no such information; and that (3) deviant sounds can actually facilitate performance when these, but not the standards, convey information. We conclude that behavioral novelty distraction, as observed in oddball tasks, is observed in the presence of novel sounds but only when the cognitive system can take advantage of the auditory distracters to optimize performance. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

This data was imported from Europe PubMed Central:

Authors: Parmentier, F.B., Elsley, J.V. and Ljungberg, J.K.

Journal: Cognition

Volume: 115

Issue: 3

Pages: 504-511

eISSN: 1873-7838

ISSN: 0010-0277

Unexpected events often distract us. In the laboratory, novel auditory stimuli have been shown to capture attention away from a focal visual task and yield specific electrophysiological responses as well as a behavioral cost to performance. Distraction is thought to follow ineluctably from the sound's low probability of occurrence or, put more simply, its unexpected occurrence. Our study challenges this view with respect to behavioral distraction and argues that past research failed to identify the informational value of sound as a mediator of novelty distraction. We report an experiment showing that (1) behavioral novelty distraction is only observed when the sound announces the occurrence and timing of an upcoming visual target (as is the case in all past research); (2) that no such distraction is observed for deviant sounds conveying no such information; and that (3) deviant sounds can actually facilitate performance when these, but not the standards, convey information. We conclude that behavioral novelty distraction, as observed in oddball tasks, is observed in the presence of novel sounds but only when the cognitive system can take advantage of the auditory distracters to optimize performance.

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