There will be a departmental talk next Tuesday on 2 Nov (4pm) by Nicolas Escoffier. More details are appended below.
Title: Unattended musical beats enhance visual attention
Date/Time: 2 Nov 2010 (Tuesday), 4pm
Venue: Seminar Room B, AS7-01-17
As we listen to a rhythmic auditory stream our attention does not stay constant over time but tends to synchronize to the rhythm. Attention is then enhanced for events that occur in synchrony and these events are processed faster than out-of-synchrony events. We investigated whether this attention modulation is crossmodal and whether an auditory rhythm can synchronize a listener’s visual attention. Participants responded to images while a task-irrelevant rhythm was playing in the background. Images could appear either synchronized or not synchronized with the rhythm. The results revealed that participants were faster to respond to images when they are synchronized with the rhythm. These results indicate that an auditory rhythm both synchronizes and facilitates concurrent visual stimulus processing. The neural correlates of this effect were explored using event-related potentials. We investigated which stage of visual processing would be modulated by the rhythm. Preliminary results suggest that rhythm modulates mid latency visual ERP components.
About the speaker:
I am interested in music cognition (how we process musical structures), and the domain specificity of the processes involved. I would like to explore to what extent there is commonality with spoken language perception and voice perception.