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 THEORETICAL ASPECTS OF AUDITORY DISTRACTION
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 49  |  Page : 210--216

Cross-modal distraction by background speech: What role for meaning?


School of Psychology, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
John E Marsh
School of Psychology,Cardiff University, PO Box 901,Cardiff, CF10 3AT
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: ESRC, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.70499

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Mental tasks are susceptible to disruption by concurrent to-be-ignored speech. The goal of the present paper is to examine whether a theoretical framework successfully applied to irrelevant speech effects in serial recall-interference by process-can be extended to verbal tasks in which meaning is the basis of retrieval and to which the irrelevant sound is related to different degrees by meaning. That the semantic characteristics of the to-be-ignored sound interact with the predominance of semantic retrieval in the focal task to determine the degree of disruption is demonstrated in three settings: free recall, category-clustering and fluency. Source monitoring-the difficulty in discriminating episodic information on the basis of the sense modality (visual or auditory) in which it was presented-contributes in part to the disruption by speech. The power of alternative accounts-interference-by-content and attentional capture-to predict these outcomes is also discussed.






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