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In order to keep track of potentially relevant information in the acoustic environment, the human brain processes sounds to a high extent even when they are not attended: it extracts basic features, encodes regularities, and detects deviances. Here, we deliver evidence that the initial 300 ms of a sound contribute more to this preattentive processing than(More)
The ability to encode rules and to detect rule-violating events outside the focus of attention is vital for adaptive behavior. Our brain recordings reveal that violations of abstract auditory rules are processed even when the sounds are unattended. When subjects performed a task related to the sounds but not to the rule, rule violations impaired task(More)
The present study investigates bottom-up effects serving the optimal balance between focusing attention on relevant information and distractibility by potentially significant events outside the focus of attention. We tested whether distraction, indicated by behavioral and event-related brain potential (ERP) measures, varies with the strength of(More)
Traditional auditory oddball paradigms imply the brain's ability to encode regularities, but are not optimal for investigating the process of regularity establishment. In the present study, a dynamic experimental protocol was developed that simulates a more realistic auditory environment with changing regularities. The dynamic sequences were included in a(More)
When the two eyes of an observer are exposed to conflicting stimuli, they enter into binocular rivalry and the two possible percepts will alternate in dominance. We investigated neural activity and its time course following binocular rivalry by measuring human event-related brain potentials to transitions from rivalrous to non-rivalrous stimulation. When(More)
During binocular rivalry visual consciousness fluctuates between two dissimilar monocular images. We investigated the role of attention in this phenomenon by comparing event-related potentials (ERPs) when binocular-rivalry stimuli were attended with when they were unattended. Stimuli were dichoptic, orthogonal gratings that yielded binocular rivalry and(More)
Experiments investigating auditory processing often utilize spectrally rich, dynamic stimuli to simulate an ecologically valid auditory environment in the laboratory. Often, however, these stimuli do not allow for a strict control of the timing of auditory sensory information which may be distributed over the whole duration of a given sound. In the present(More)
When something appears, how soon is the first neural correlate of awareness of it, and where is that activity in the brain? To answer these questions, we measured the electroencephalogram under conditions in which visual stimuli changed identically but in which awareness differed. We manipulated awareness by using binocular rivalry between orthogonal(More)
OBJECTIVE The present study addresses the question of whether behavioral and electrophysiological effects obtained with the auditory distraction paradigm proposed by Schröger et al. [Clin Neurophysiol 2000;111:1450] depend on the timing of stimulus occurrence. METHODS Subjects had to discriminate the duration of tones. Occasionally, task-irrelevant(More)
Auditory distractibility was investigated using four noise stimuli that differed in their duration and/or sound source. In the duration-task/location-deviant condition, participants were asked to discriminate between equiprobable short and long stimuli. Mostly, stimuli were presented from one location (Standards), but, infrequently, a stimulus was presented(More)