Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Your Brain Deciphers Cocktail Party Banter

Date:
February 12, 2009
Source:
NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Summary:
Anyone who has tried to carry on a conversation in a roomful of talkers knows how difficult it can be to concentrate on what one person is saying while tuning everyone else out. Researchers now have a better picture of how the brain manages this feat.

Anyone who has tried to carry on a conversation in a roomful of talkers knows how difficult it can be to concentrate on what one person is saying while tuning everyone else out.

Researchers at the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, and Starkey Laboratories, Inc. have a better picture of how the brain manages this feat. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), an imaging technique that measures magnetic fields produced by changes in the brain's electrical activity, the researchers played two competing audio streams into the ears of 26 healthy volunteers and asked them to listen to one stream while ignoring the other.

One group concentrated on a faster-paced series of beeps while the second group focused on a slower beep pattern; the groups later switched tasks to focus on the other audio stream. The researchers also introduced an occasional change in the rhythm to find out if the study volunteers noticed.

Among their results, researchers found that people listening to one stream did not detect pattern changes in the other stream. In addition, although the brain showed neural activity representing both audio streams, the amount of neural activity was much stronger and more in sync for the stream on which a person was concentrating.

Supported by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, one of the National Institutes of Health, the scientists are presenting their findings at the 2009 Midwinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology in Baltimore.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. "How Your Brain Deciphers Cocktail Party Banter." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 February 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212094240.htm>.
NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. (2009, February 12). How Your Brain Deciphers Cocktail Party Banter. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212094240.htm
NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. "How Your Brain Deciphers Cocktail Party Banter." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090212094240.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Confirmed Case Of Google Glass Addiction

First Confirmed Case Of Google Glass Addiction

Buzz60 (Oct. 15, 2014) A Google Glass user was treated for Internet Addiction Disorder caused from overuse of the device. Morgan Manousos (@MorganManousos) has the details on how many hours he spent wearing the glasses, and what his symptoms were. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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