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    Speech-in-speech perception, non-verbal selective attention, and musical training

    Tierney, Adam and Rosen, S. and Dick, Frederic (2020) Speech-in-speech perception, non-verbal selective attention, and musical training. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 46 (5), pp. 968-979. ISSN 0278-7393.

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    Speech is more difficult to understand when it is presented concurrently with a distractor speech stream. One source of this difficulty is that competing speech can act as an attentional lure, requiring listeners to exert attentional control to ensure that attention does not drift away from the target. Stronger attentional control may enable listeners to more successfully ignore distracting speech, and so individual differences in selective attention may be one factor driving the ability to perceive speech in complex environments. However, the lack of a paradigm for measuring non-verbal sustained selective attention to sound has made this hypothesis difficult to test. Here we find that individuals who are better able to attend to a stream of tones and respond to occasional repeated sequences while ignoring a distractor tone stream are also better able to perceive speech masked by a single distractor talker. We also find that participants who have undergone more musical training show better performance on both verbal and non-verbal selective attention tasks, and this musician advantage is greater in older participants. This suggests that one source of a potential musician advantage for speech perception in complex environments may be experience or skill in directing and maintaining attention to a single auditory object.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: ©American Psychological Association 201x. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at the DOI cited above.
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): selective attention, speech, cocktail party, musicians, executive function
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Adam Tierney
    Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2019 05:39
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:53


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