Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Human Brain: Detective Of Auditory And Visual Change

Date:
January 22, 2008
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
The human brain is capable of detecting the slightest visual and auditory changes. Several studies have indicated, however, that even a small span of time in between pre- and post-change images can disturb the brain's ability to detect visual discrepancies. In a recent study, psychologists assessed the effect of time gaps on change detection in audition.

The human brain is capable of detecting the slightest visual and auditory changes. Whether it is the flash of a student’s hand into the air or the faintest miscue of a flutist, the brain instantaneously and effortlessly perceives changes in our environment. Several studies have indicated, however, that even a small span of time in between pre- and post-change images can disturb the brain’s ability to detect visual discrepancies.

“The pre-change scene must be memorized in some way,” explained psychologists Laurent Demany, Wiebke Trost, Maja Serman and Catherine Semal from the University of Bordeaux and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). “In the visual domain, numerous experiments have shown that even a very short gap of less than 100ms can dramatically disrupt our ability to detect a local change in complex images. Following such a gap, local changes can be detected only in very simple images.” This phenomenon is known as ‘change blindness.’

In a recent study, the aforementioned psychologists assessed the effect of time gaps on change detection in audition. Their goal was to determine if the brain uses similar mechanisms to perceive auditory changes as it does with vision. Participants had to detect a pitch change in one tone presented together with other tones. The complexity of the pre-change sound was varied, as well as the duration of the silent interval between the pre- and post-change sounds.

The experimenters reasoned that if auditory change detection is similar to the visual process, a complex sound (including many tones) should be remembered less well than a simple sound (including few tones). The psychologists discovered, however, that this was not the case. The participants were able to remember even the most complex sounds -- reaching up to 12 tones -- despite the time delays.

The results of the study, which appear in the January 2008 issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, indicate that the brain uses more efficient mechanisms in auditory memory than in visual memory. To that extent, the human brain appears to be a keener detective of auditory change than visual change.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Human Brain: Detective Of Auditory And Visual Change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080118115432.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2008, January 22). Human Brain: Detective Of Auditory And Visual Change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080118115432.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Human Brain: Detective Of Auditory And Visual Change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080118115432.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins