Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cogn Psychol. 1974 Apr;6(2):190-215.

Is Attention Shared Between the Ears?

Author information

Indiana University.


This study tests the locus of attention during selective listening for speech-like stimuli. Can processing be differentially allocated to the two ears? Two conditions were used. The simultaneous condition involved one of four randomly chosen stop-consonants being presented to one of the ears chosen at random. The sequential condition involved two intervals; in the first S listened to the right ear; in the second S listened to the left ear. One of the four consonants was presented to an attended ear during one of these intervals. Experiment I used no distracting stimuli. Experiment II utilized a distracting consonant not confusable with any of the four target consonants. This distractor was always presented to any ear not containing a target. In both experiments, simultaneous and sequential performance were essentially identical, despite the need for attention sharing between the two ears during the simultaneous condition. We conclude that selective attention does not occur during perceptual processing of speech sounds presented to the two ears. We suggest that attentive effects arise in short-term memory following processing.

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center