Sensation , Perception , and Attention

Topics: Brain, Dichotic listening, Hearing Pages: 5 (1725 words) Published: October 27, 2011
Sensation, Perception, and Attention
Every member of this Team has a specific and diverse attention sensation and perceptive process that is affected by his or her surroundings/environment. Sensation is defined as the process of bringing information from the outside world into the brain. This process is passive in a sense that the brain does not have to be engaged in sensing sensation. Perception is defined as the active process of selecting, organizing, and interpreting the information brought to the brain by the senses. Our team will conduct a cognitive psychological test also known as dichotic listening and investigate each team members threshold for auditory stimuli. We will also attempt to discover how and why our attention was divided, and gather any relative information about sensory perception.

The auditory threshold is, “The audibility limit of discriminating sound intensity and pitch” (Biology Online, 2005). We hear different pitches throughout every day of our lives and do not realize the kind of range that exists in these sound waves. Through the testing of the members in our group we found varying results in the limits between us. After taking an auditory threshold test online our group discovered that we each started to hear the noise at different points ranging from 20 Hz to 80 Hz. Each individual experienced the increasing noise, to the point it was uncontrollable, near the end of the test the noise dissipated, and we began to lose the sound around 13kHz-19 kHz. One of the team members showed rare results because of their ability to hear the noise throughout almost the entire test. The results that we found show how much the ability to hear different pitches differs from person to person. We do not encounter needs to examine the auditory threshold of ourselves daily, but it is the important role that this stimuli plays in our lives, which we fail to notice. The study of auditory threshold is more crucial than most people realize, specifically because of the importance of hearing aid technology. “The present study demonstrated the feasibility of the operant procedure combined with a psychophysical method for threshold assessment, thus contributing to the routine fitting and maintenance of cochlear implants within the limitations of a hospital setting” (Da Silva, De Souza, Bevilacqua, Lopes. 2011). As this study shows there are varying degrees of stimuli, and scientists continue to further their research even today.

Also known as the “cocktail party” phenomenon, dichotic listening concentrates on an individual’s ability to hear with the left hemisphere or the right hemisphere of the brain. It is thought that most individuals’ left hemisphere is more dominant than the right hemisphere concerning language processing and “for everyone, the left hemisphere also controls right side motor and auditory functions, this means that for most people, a linguistic stimulus sent to the right ear will be processed more rapidly than a linguistic stimulus sent to the left ear because a linguistic stimulus sent to the right ear will be directly processed in the left hemisphere” (University of California, Los Angeles. n.d.).

A group of six individuals recently completed a dichotic listening test (University of California, Los Angeles. n.d.). One individual’s results were inconclusive but the other five individuals were successful in completion of the test. The dichotic listening test completed by the five people (subjects A-E) consisted of listening through a set of headphones to two different words. One word is spoken in the left ear and a different word is spoken in the right ear. The group was allowed to play each word once, and they noted what word they heard. The individuals that made up this particular group have many variations in age, employment, families, etc. These are the results of the test:

Only one individual – subject A*- that had an extremely strong correlation, and it was to the right side; this...
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