Tags

Type your tag names separated by a space and hit enter

Perceptual and cognitive task difficulty has differential effects on auditory distraction.
Brain Res. 2007 Mar 09; 1136(1):169-77.BR

Abstract

When a task-irrelevant feature of an auditory stimulus varies at rare and unpredictable times, the processing of this change interferes with the processing of task-relevant stimulus information. The present study investigated whether this distraction effect is modulated by the difficulty of the auditory task. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and behavioral responses were recorded while subjects classified stimuli based on their temporal dimension. In one condition, the task was made more difficult by decreasing the perceptual discriminability (temporal distinctiveness) of the stimuli. In a second condition, the difficult task involved an increase in memory load: subjects were asked to assess the duration of the current compared to that of the previous stimulus. The occurrence of an infrequent task-irrelevant change in the pitch of the stimulus caused distraction in all task conditions. Following this change, performance deteriorated, and a distinct P3a component was visible in the ERP. Importantly, the extent of this distraction effect was significantly enhanced during the high memory load task, but not during the difficult perceptual task. It may be that the attentional resources afforded to the stimuli, rather than task difficulty, affected the extent of the distraction response. When the processing requirements of a task demand more highly focused attention for stimulus processing, the processing of the distracting information embedded within this stimulus may inadvertently also benefit from this attention.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Institut für Psychologie I, Universität Leipzig, Seeburgstr. 14-20, 04103 Leipzig, Germany. muller-gass@uni-leipzig.deNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

17223092

Citation

Muller-Gass, Alexandra, and Erich Schröger. "Perceptual and Cognitive Task Difficulty Has Differential Effects On Auditory Distraction." Brain Research, vol. 1136, no. 1, 2007, pp. 169-77.
Muller-Gass A, Schröger E. Perceptual and cognitive task difficulty has differential effects on auditory distraction. Brain Res. 2007;1136(1):169-77.
Muller-Gass, A., & Schröger, E. (2007). Perceptual and cognitive task difficulty has differential effects on auditory distraction. Brain Research, 1136(1), 169-77.
Muller-Gass A, Schröger E. Perceptual and Cognitive Task Difficulty Has Differential Effects On Auditory Distraction. Brain Res. 2007 Mar 9;1136(1):169-77. PubMed PMID: 17223092.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Perceptual and cognitive task difficulty has differential effects on auditory distraction. AU - Muller-Gass,Alexandra, AU - Schröger,Erich, Y1 - 2007/01/16/ PY - 2006/08/31/received PY - 2006/11/30/revised PY - 2006/12/10/accepted PY - 2007/1/16/pubmed PY - 2007/4/28/medline PY - 2007/1/16/entrez SP - 169 EP - 77 JF - Brain research JO - Brain Res VL - 1136 IS - 1 N2 - When a task-irrelevant feature of an auditory stimulus varies at rare and unpredictable times, the processing of this change interferes with the processing of task-relevant stimulus information. The present study investigated whether this distraction effect is modulated by the difficulty of the auditory task. Event-related potentials (ERPs) and behavioral responses were recorded while subjects classified stimuli based on their temporal dimension. In one condition, the task was made more difficult by decreasing the perceptual discriminability (temporal distinctiveness) of the stimuli. In a second condition, the difficult task involved an increase in memory load: subjects were asked to assess the duration of the current compared to that of the previous stimulus. The occurrence of an infrequent task-irrelevant change in the pitch of the stimulus caused distraction in all task conditions. Following this change, performance deteriorated, and a distinct P3a component was visible in the ERP. Importantly, the extent of this distraction effect was significantly enhanced during the high memory load task, but not during the difficult perceptual task. It may be that the attentional resources afforded to the stimuli, rather than task difficulty, affected the extent of the distraction response. When the processing requirements of a task demand more highly focused attention for stimulus processing, the processing of the distracting information embedded within this stimulus may inadvertently also benefit from this attention. SN - 0006-8993 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/17223092/Perceptual_and_cognitive_task_difficulty_has_differential_effects_on_auditory_distraction_ L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0006-8993(06)03579-7 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -