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Front Psychol. 2012 Feb 7;3:15. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00015. eCollection 2012.

Attention, awareness, and the perception of auditory scenes.

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Department of Psychology, University of Nevada Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV, USA.


Auditory perception and cognition entails both low-level and high-level processes, which are likely to interact with each other to create our rich conscious experience of soundscapes. Recent research that we review has revealed numerous influences of high-level factors, such as attention, intention, and prior experience, on conscious auditory perception. And recently, studies have shown that auditory scene analysis tasks can exhibit multistability in a manner very similar to ambiguous visual stimuli, presenting a unique opportunity to study neural correlates of auditory awareness and the extent to which mechanisms of perception are shared across sensory modalities. Research has also led to a growing number of techniques through which auditory perception can be manipulated and even completely suppressed. Such findings have important consequences for our understanding of the mechanisms of perception and also should allow scientists to precisely distinguish the influences of different higher-level influences.


attentional blink; auditory scene analysis; change deafness; informational masking; multistability; priming

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