Separate contributions of enhanced and suppressed sensitivity to the auditory attentional filter

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Three experiments used a probe-signal method to determine the extent to which exposure-related changes in sensitivity result from an immediate effect of stimulation and from a cumulative effect of repeated stimulation. In the first experiment, a fixed-frequency cue was followed by a same-frequency target (on 75% of trials) or a different-frequency probe (on 25% of trials). In the second experiment, a cue frequency selected randomly from a set of five was followed by a same-frequency target, or one of four different-frequency probes. Targets and probes were randomly selected independently of the cue frequency and all were equiprobable (20%). Target detection showed an average 3.4 dB advantage over probe detection. In the third experiment, tones with a randomly selected frequency were detected better when cued by a tone of the same-frequency than when presented without a prior cue. The cued tones showed an average 2.6 dB advantage over the uncued tones. Together, these results suggest that two mechanisms contribute to changes in sensitivity following auditory stimulation: first, an immediate enhancement of target detection produced by an auditory cue and second, a suppression of non-target frequencies caused by the expectation of a target. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-25
JournalHearing Research
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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