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01-01-2014 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2014

Psychological Research 1/2014

“Deafness” effects in detecting alterations to auditory feedback during sequence production

Psychological Research > Uitgave 1/2014
Peter Q. Pfordresher


Past research has shown that when discrete responses are associated with a perceptual goal, performers may have difficulty detecting stimuli that are commensurate with that goal. Three experiments are reported here that test whether such effects extend to sequence production. In Experiment 1, participants performed 8-note melodies repeatedly, and on each trial a single tone could be altered with respect to its pitch and/or synchrony with actions. Results suggested a selective deficit of detection when feedback pitch was unchanged and the event was slightly delayed. Experiment 2 showed that this “deafness” to feedback is limited to rhythmic motor tasks that require sequencing, in that similar effects did not emerge when participants produced pitch sequences by tapping a single key repeatedly. A third experiment demonstrated similar results to Experiment 1 when the mapping of keys to pitches on the keyboard was reversed. Taken together, results suggest a selective deafness to response-congruent delayed feedback, consistent with the idea that performers suppress previously planned events during production.

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