Jul 25, 2019

The ecological cocktail party: Measuring brain activity during an auditory oddball task with background noise

Psychophysiology
Joanna E M ScanlonKyle E Mathewson

Abstract

Most experiments using EEG recordings take place in highly isolated and restricted environments, limiting their applicability to real-life scenarios. New technologies for mobile EEG are changing this by allowing EEG recording to take place outside of the laboratory. However, before results from experiments performed outside the laboratory can be fully understood, the effects of ecological stimuli on brain activity during cognitive tasks must be examined. In this experiment, participants performed an auditory oddball task while also listening to concurrent background noises of silence, white noise, and outdoor ecological sounds, as well as a condition in which the tones themselves were at a low volume. We found a significantly increased N1 and decreased P2 when participants performed the task with outdoor sounds and white noise in the background, with the largest differences in the outdoor sound condition. This modulation in the N1 and P2 replicates what we have previously found outside while people rode bicycles. No behavioral differences were found in response to the target tones. We interpret these modulations in early ERPs as indicative of sensory filtering of background sounds and that ecologically valid sounds require more...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Research
Electroencephalography
Brain
Environment
Sensory Gating
NFAT5 protein, human
Laboratory
Persons
Participant
N1, N1-diethyl-N2-(2,3,4,6-tetra-O-acetyl-glucopyranosyl)acetamidine

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