A Theory and Computational Model of Auditory Selective AttentionResearch Student: Stuart N Wrigley Supervisor: Guy J Brown
This project concentrates on the role that attention plays in auditory perception. In common usage, attention usually refers to both selectivity and capacity limitation. It is widely accepted that conscious perception is selective and that perception encompasses only a small fraction of the information impinging upon the senses. The second phenomenon - that of capacity limitation - can be illustrated by the fact that two tasks when performed individually pose no problem; however, when they are attempted simultaneously, they become very difficult. This occurs even when the two tasks are not physically incompatible such as reading a book and listening to the radio. It is this that leads to the common conclusion that attention is a finite resource.
When producing a model of auditory attention, a number of experimental findings need to be borne in mind:
Current work is focusing on the incorporation of an attentional model into a neural oscillator based model of stream segregation. Such networks have been successfully employed for the stream segregation task (eg Wang and Brown, 1999) but have made little attempt to address the role attention plays in streaming.
A copy of the final thesis is available (see references below).