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Date of Award
Bachelor of Science (BS)
Department of Psychology
Change deafness is a perceptual phenomenon that occurs when an observer fails to rapidly detect an above-threshold change in a sound source. The present research represented an initial investigation into one stimulus factor, the perceived similarity between array events, that potentially gives rise to change deafness to continuously moving target events. Participants (N=13) were presented with arrays of three simultaneous tones of inharmonic, synthetic /a/ and /i/ vowels. Each array event had a distinct pitch [low (A2), middle (D#3), high (B4)] and starting location in perceived space on the azimuth (-40°, 0°, +40°). Participants were instructed to identify the pitch of the tone that changed with respect to location in perceived space. The target, or changing event, had either a shared a vowel with another distractor, or had a unique vowel relative to the remaining two events. Mean percent correct identification of change was significantly lower when the target event was similar to distractors, indicating frequent incidence of change deafness, and suggesting that change deafness is dependent upon the degree of event similarity.
Cole, Caroline, "The Effect of the Similarity of Events on Change Deafness" (2018). Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current. 535.