Abstract

Schröger, E., & Wolff, C. (1997). Fast preattentive processing of location: a functional basis for selective listening in humans. Neuroscience Letters, 232(1), 5-8.

Fast preattentive processing of location: a functional basis for selective listening in humans

Spatial separation of sound sources provides a primary cue for selecting relevant from irrelevant acoustic input. This competence for selective listening is important in every-day life, when several concurrent sound sources are simultaneously active. The present study demonstrated a temporal advantage in the preattentive processing of location information relative to frequency information. This was indicated by shorter latency of the mismatch negativity (MMN), generated by the brain's automatic detection of a sound change, to a location change than to a frequency change. Results suggest that the superior role of spatial location for selective listening may be due to faster automatic encoding of spatial information into the neural representations underlying attentional selection.



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