Dimension-specific attention directs learning and listening on auditory training tasks.

Lorna F Halliday, David R Moore, Jenny L Taylor, Sygal Amitay

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The relative contributions of bottom-up versus top-down sensory inputs to auditory learning are not well established. In our experiment, listeners were instructed to perform either a frequency discrimination (FD) task ("FD-train group") or an intensity discrimination (ID) task ("ID-train group") during training on a set of physically identical tones that were impossible to discriminate consistently above chance, allowing us to vary top-down attention whilst keeping bottom-up inputs fixed. A third, control group did not receive any training. Only the FD-train group improved on a FD probe following training, whereas all groups improved on ID following training. However, only the ID-train group also showed changes in performance accuracy as a function of interval with training on the ID task. These findings suggest that top-down, dimension-specific attention can direct auditory learning, even when this learning is not reflected in conventional performance measures of threshold change.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAttention, perception & psychophysics
    Volume73
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

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