On the Time Course of Processing Personally Significant Sounds

On the Time Course of Processing Personally Significant Sounds

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Anecdotal reports and also empirical observations suggest a preferential processing of personally significant sounds. The utterance of one's own name, the ringing of one's own telephone or the like, appear to be effective for capturing attention. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the time course and perceptual consequences that underlie the voluntary and the involuntary detection of personally significant sounds. The present thesis reports three main experiments, in which active and passive listening paradigms were applied to investigate this detection process using electrophysiological and psychophysical methods. To vary the personal significance, SMS ringtones of the participant's own mobile phone and ringtones of others have been used. In a classic oddball paradigm applied in Experiment I, it has been demonstrated that this specific retrieval of sound features stored in long-term memory (LTM) followed physical deviance detection but occurred prior to involuntary attentional orienting that may give rise to further evaluation. Although, no physically salient deviation may have triggered LTM access in Experiment II, the effect reflecting the detection of a personally significant sound could be replicated. Additionally, an enhanced evoked oscillatory activity (35-75 Hz) to one's own ringtone indicated the initial experience-based match of auditory input with memory templates at a stage of processing when the first sensory stimulus representation is just being built. Experiment III applied a training approach. Electrophysiological results suggested that the effect which was interpreted to reflect detection of a personally significant sound could not be reduced to a preferential processing of the self-selected stimulus. Measured behavioural detection thresholds to trained and untrained sounds gave first hints that lowered thresholds based on the individual experience with a sound may be one contributing factor that underlies the "effect of the own name".show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 85 pages
  • 172 x 243 x 10mm | 179g
  • Leipziger Universitätsvlg
  • English
  • zahlreiche farbige Abbildungen
  • 3865835236
  • 9783865835239