Dr. Anna Wittekindt
Former group member
Frequency-selective attention in hearing: psychophysical experiments in humans and the role of the cochlear efferent system
One of the major questions in neuroscience is how sensory processing, cognition and perception are working together in the brain to determine our subjective experience of the environment. In the auditory system, we can perceptually segregate different interfering stimuli, build perceptual units and listen well directed. This phenomenon (so called cocktail-party-effect) is the result of both, selective attention and auditory grouping.
In this project, we investigate different aspects of selective attention and auditory grouping in psychophysical experiments in humans. Frequency-selective attention is determined, using a complex hearing paradigm with multiple overlapping auditory streams. Thereby we are trying to approach the question, if attention can focus on certain stimulus parameters (e. g. frequency) or to preattentively bounded auditory objects.
Further experiments are set up to determine the processing levels in the auditory system at which selective attention can operate. Among others, we are testing the possibility if correlates of attention can already be described at the level of the sensory epithelium, the cochlea. This would suggest an involvement of the olivocochlear system in signal detection as well as in selective listening. Cochlear activity, measured as DPOAE (distortion product otoacoustic emissions) in humans, is therefore determined under different cognitive conditions and during complex acoustic stimulation involving both ears.
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Druckversion: 02. März 2012, 16:19