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

Stacey, PC ORCID: 0000-0002-6018-8979, Murphy, T, Sumner, CJ, Kitterick, PT and Roberts, KL ORCID: 0000-0002-8735-2249, 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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Abstract

Previous research (e.g. McGurk and 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 and Soto-Faraco, 2011). We hypothesised 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: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Creators: Stacey, P.C., Murphy, T., Sumner, C.J., Kitterick, P.T. and Roberts, K.L.
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Place of Publication: Washington, DC
Date: 2014
Volume: 40
Number: 6
ISSN: 0096-1523
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1037/a0038220DOI
Rights: ©2014 American Psychological Association
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 09:54
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 15:36
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4723

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