Attention and cognitive control: Unfolding the dichotic listening story

Research Area: Research Year: 2009
Type of Publication: Article
Authors: Hugdahl, Kenneth; Westerhausen, Rene; Alho, K; Medvedev, S; Laine, M; Hämäläinen, H
Abstract:
In this article we present a theoretical approach to cognitive control and attention modulation, as well as review studies related to such a view, using an auditory task based on dichotic presentations of simple consonant-vowel syllables. The reviewed work comes out of joint research efforts by the 'Attention-node' at the 'Nordic Center of Excellence in Cognitive Control'. We suggest a new way of defining degrees of cognitive control based on systematically varying the stimulus intensity of the right or left ear dichotic stimulus, thus parametrically varying the degree of stimulus interference and conflict when assessing the amount of cognitive control necessary to resolve the interference. We first present an overview and review of previous studies using the so-called "forced-attention" dichotic listening paradigm. We then present behavioral and neuroimaging data to explore the suggested cognitive control model, with examples from normal adults, clinical and special ability groups.
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