Pattern-Directed Attention in Uncertain Frequency Detection.
CATHOLIC UNIV OF AMERICA WASHINGTON D C HUMAN PERFORMANCE LAB
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The role of early pattern components as cues in uncertain frequency detection was investigated in four probe-signal experiments. Listeners heard consecutive presentations of a 12-tone pattern in a noise background. One presentation of the pattern was complete whereas the other was missing the eleventhprimary tone. Listeners were required to indicate which presentation was complete. On 20 of the test trails, the eleventh component of the complete pattern was replaced with one of four probe tones. The results indicated that listeners were more sensitive to the primary tone than to probe tones but this selective sensitivity changed on a trail-by-trail basis as a function of the attentional cues provided by early pattern components. The data suggested two cue functions 1 an informational function in providing information regarding which primary tone is likely to occur on a given trail, and 2 a frequency function that automatically directs listening to an appropriate frequency range and narrows or fine tunes the listening band.