Searching for a talking face: the effect of degrading the auditory signal

Stacey, Paula C., Murphy, Thomas, Sumner, Christian J., Kitterick, Pádraig T. and Roberts, Katherine L. (2014) Searching for a talking face: the effect of degrading the auditory signal. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40 (6). pp. 2106-2111. ISSN 0096-1523

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Previous research (e.g., McGurk & MacDonald, 1976) suggests that faces and voices are bound automatically, but recent evidence suggests that attention is involved in a task of searching for a talking face (Alsius & Soto-Faraco, 2011). We hypothesized that the processing demands of the stimuli may affect the amount of attentional resources required, and investigated what effect degrading the auditory stimulus had on the time taken to locate a talking face. Twenty participants were presented with between 2 and 4 faces articulating different sentences, and had to decide which of these faces matched the sentence that they heard. The results showed that in the least demanding auditory condition (clear speech in quiet), search times did not significantly increase when the number of faces increased. However, when speech was presented in background noise or was processed to simulate the information provided by a cochlear implant, search times increased as the number of faces increased. Thus, it seems that the amount of attentional resources required vary according to the processing demands of the auditory stimuli, and when processing load is increased then faces need to be individually attended to in order to complete the task. Based on these results we would expect cochlear-implant users to find the task of locating a talking face more attentionally demanding than normal hearing listeners.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Clinical Neuroscience
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Depositing User: Kitterick, Dr Padraig
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2016 08:13
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 20:12

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