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    Dimension-selective attention and dimensional salience modulate cortical tracking of acoustic dimensions

    Symons, Ashley and Dick, Fred and Tierney, Adam (2021) Dimension-selective attention and dimensional salience modulate cortical tracking of acoustic dimensions. NeuroImage 244 (118544), ISSN 1053-8119.

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    Some theories of auditory categorization suggest that auditory dimensions that are strongly diagnostic for particular categories - for instance voice onset time or fundamental frequency in the case of some spoken consonants - attract attention. However, prior cognitive neuroscience research on auditory selective attention has largely focused on attention to simple auditory objects or streams, and so little is known about the neural mechanisms that underpin dimension-selective attention, or how the relative salience of variations along these dimensions might modulate neural signatures of attention. Here we investigate whether dimensional salience and dimension-selective attention modulate the cortical tracking of acoustic dimensions. In two experiments, participants listened to tone sequences varying in pitch and spectral peak frequency; these two dimensions changed at different rates. Inter-trial phase coherence (ITPC) and amplitude of the EEG signal at the frequencies tagged to pitch and spectral changes provided a measure of cortical tracking of these dimensions. In Experiment 1, tone sequences varied in the size of the pitch intervals, while the size of spectral peak intervals remained constant. Cortical tracking of pitch changes was greater for sequences with larger compared to smaller pitch intervals, with no difference in cortical tracking of spectral peak changes. In Experiment 2, participants selectively attended to either pitch or spectral peak. Cortical tracking was stronger in response to the attended compared to unattended dimension for both pitch and spectral peak. These findings suggest that attention can enhance the cortical tracking of specific acoustic dimensions rather than simply enhancing tracking of the auditory object as a whole.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Auditory, Attention, Salience, EEG, Cortical tracking
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Adam Tierney
    Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2022 06:36
    Last Modified: 04 Jul 2022 12:46


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