Effects of capacity limits, memory loss, and sound type in change deafness
Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics
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Change deafness, the inability to notice changes to auditory scenes, has the potential to provide insights about sound perception in busy situations typical of everyday life. We determined the extent to which change deafness to sounds is due to the capacity of processing multiple sounds and the loss of memory for sounds over time. We also determined whether these processing limitations work differently for varying types of sounds within a scene. Auditory scenes composed of naturalistic sounds, spectrally dynamic unrecognizable sounds, tones, and noise rhythms were presented in a change-detection task. On each trial, two scenes were presented that were same or different. We manipulated the number of sounds within each scene to measure memory capacity and the silent interval between scenes to measure memory loss. For all sounds, change detection was worse as scene size increased, demonstrating the importance of capacity limits. Change detection to the natural sounds did not deteriorate much as the interval between scenes increased up to 2,000 ms, but it did deteriorate substantially with longer intervals. For artificial sounds, in contrast, change-detection performance suffered even for very short intervals. The results suggest that change detection is generally limited by capacity, regardless of sound type, but that auditory memory is more enduring for sounds with naturalistic acoustic structures. © 2017, The Psychonomic Society, Inc.
Gregg, M. K.,
Irsik, V. C.,
Snyder, J. S.
Effects of capacity limits, memory loss, and sound type in change deafness.
Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, 79(8),