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A comparison of the effects for sustained versus shifted attention on dichotic listening performance

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We measured the effect of two types of directed attention instructions, sustained by a verbal cue or shifted by a tone cue with different time intervals (150, 450, and 750 ms), on a consonant-vowel dichotic listening (C-V DL) test for a large group of right- and left-handed participants of both sexes. An increasing of the hits and a decreasing of the intrusions from the baseline DL test scores was evident for both types of attentional manipulations, with no differences regarding sex or handedness. Increasing the time from 150 to 450 ms benefited the focusing of attention but this advantage was markedly attenuated at the longer 750-ms interval. The improving effect was seen for the hits of both the left and right ears and so a right ear advantage was evident for the three time intervals.
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Keywords: Dichotic listening; Shifted attention; Sustained attention

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Universitat de Valencia, Spain

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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