Heard but Not Heeded? Aspects of Auditory Selective Attention It is a truism, but one often overlooked, that the brain is as much a part of auditory processing as the periphery. Without question, human hearing abilities are fundamentally determined by the information transmitted from the periphery, and disorders of the periphery, such as sensorineural hearing loss, limit the ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2002
Heard but Not Heeded? Aspects of Auditory Selective Attention
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Donna L. Neff
    Boys Town National Research Hospital, Omaha, NE
Article Information
Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Articles
Article   |   October 01, 2002
Heard but Not Heeded? Aspects of Auditory Selective Attention
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, October 2002, Vol. 6, 7-10. doi:10.1044/hhd6.2.7
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, October 2002, Vol. 6, 7-10. doi:10.1044/hhd6.2.7
It is a truism, but one often overlooked, that the brain is as much a part of auditory processing as the periphery. Without question, human hearing abilities are fundamentally determined by the information transmitted from the periphery, and disorders of the periphery, such as sensorineural hearing loss, limit the information available to the auditory nervous system. Nonetheless, there are important aspects of auditory processing that are due to central auditory processing and more general cognitive abilities. This article describes several tasks used in basic research on effects of stimulus uncertainty, which reveals aspects of auditory selective attention. Results from these studies may eventually lead to a better understanding of some of the disorders of central auditory processing or provide better diagnostic or rehabilitative tools for the clinic. The term “selective attention” as used here, refers to evidence that some aspects of a stimulus or subunits of a complex stimulus receive more processing than other aspects. This article is limited to discussing several types of detection and discrimination tasks that involve auditory selective attention. Many intriguing aspects of perception related to attention, such as “stream segregation” or auditory object formation, are not included.
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