Perceivers' brains track complex sound structures, keep signals in memory, learn regularities between sounds, build up knowledge and use this information to expect and anticipate future events. These expectations shape the perception of upcoming signals (whether auditory or visual): processing of an expected event is faster and more accurate, less stimulation is necessary and less neural resources are engaged. Listeners'only (i.e., previous sounds stored in an auditory memory buffer) and/or on cognitive influences, such as attention or listeners' knowledge about systems underlying the auditory signals (e.g., linguistic and musical systems of one's culture). Our research is investigating these perceptual and cognitive expectations with their behavioral and neural correlates. The used auditory materials cover complex sounds (specially constructed for the experimental purposes) as well as verbal and musical sound structures. The presentation will cover an overview of some of our fundamental research projects, with a particular reference to a theoretical framework of attention, which conceptualizes temporal attention as oscillatory processes in a dynamical system. Originally proposed for music perception, this theory of dynamic attending has now been used for language processing, auditory scene analysis and implicit learning.
Barbara TILLMANN, CRNL/Cap