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Is predictability salient? A study of attentional capture by auditory patterns.

Southwell, R; Baumann, A; Gal, C; Barascud, N; Friston, K; Chait, M; (2017) Is predictability salient? A study of attentional capture by auditory patterns. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci , 372 (1714) , Article 20160105. 10.1098/rstb.2016.0105. Green open access

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Abstract

In this series of behavioural and electroencephalography (EEG) experiments, we investigate the extent to which repeating patterns of sounds capture attention. Work in the visual domain has revealed attentional capture by statistically predictable stimuli, consistent with predictive coding accounts which suggest that attention is drawn to sensory regularities. Here, stimuli comprised rapid sequences of tone pips, arranged in regular (REG) or random (RAND) patterns. EEG data demonstrate that the brain rapidly recognizes predictable patterns manifested as a rapid increase in responses to REG relative to RAND sequences. This increase is reminiscent of the increase in gain on neural responses to attended stimuli often seen in the neuroimaging literature, and thus consistent with the hypothesis that predictable sequences draw attention. To study potential attentional capture by auditory regularities, we used REG and RAND sequences in two different behavioural tasks designed to reveal effects of attentional capture by regularity. Overall, the pattern of results suggests that regularity does not capture attention.This article is part of the themed issue 'Auditory and visual scene analysis'.

Type: Article
Title: Is predictability salient? A study of attentional capture by auditory patterns.
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2016.0105
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2016.0105
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Attention, auditory scene analysis, electroencephalography, predictive coding, regularity, statistical learning
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > The Ear Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Imaging Neuroscience
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1523343
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