Wetzel, N., & Schröger, E. (2014). On the development of auditory distraction: A review. PsyCh Journal, 3(1), 72-91.

On the development of auditory distraction: A review

The present review focuses on the development of involuntary attention mechanisms in the context of the occurrence of unexpected events during childhood. We introduce a prevailing three-stage model of auditory involuntary attention describing the processes leading to, accompanying, and following the distraction of attention by prediction violations: (a) the automatic detection of prediction violations (associated with the event-related potential [ERP] component mismatch negativity [MMN]), (b) the involuntary orienting of attention processes towards the prediction violating sound (associated with the ERP component P3a), and (c) the reorienting back to task-relevant information (associated with the ERP components reorienting negativity [RON] or late discriminative negativity [LDN]). Within this framework we give an overview of studies investigating MMN, P3a, RON/LDN, and behavioral distraction effects in children. We discuss the development of the underlying involuntary attention mechanisms and highlight the relevance of and future perspectives for this important field of research.


Cognitive and Biological Psychology

University of Leipzig
Faculty of Life Sciences
Institute of Psychology
Neumarkt 9-19
D-04109 Leipzig


Dagmar Schrödl
Phone: +49 341 97-39570
Email: dagmar dot schroedl at uni-leipzig dot de

Dorit Thieme
Phone: +49 341 97-39540
Email: d dot thieme at uni-leipzig dot de

Fax: +49 341 97-39271