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dc.contributor.refereePreuschhof, Claudia-
dc.contributor.authorBonmassar, Carolina-
dc.description.abstractTask-irrelevant sounds can lead to costs in performance due to the orienting of attention toward the distracting event. Under certain circumstances, motivationally significant sounds (e.g., emotional sounds such as a baby cry) can benefit performance because of an increase in arousal level. The main goal of the present doctoral thesis was to investigate the relation between the costs of orienting attention and the benefits of an increased arousal level from a developmental perspective in the involuntary auditory attention. For this purpose, I conducted a series of five experiments. In the first study, participants (children aged 7 to 10 years and adults) watched a silent video while listening to a sound sequence containing standard, emotional and neutral novel sounds, which were irrelevant to the video. I recorded attention-related event-related potentials (ERPs) and pupil dilation responses (PDRs). Results showed larger amplitudes in auditory involuntary attention components (P2, P3a) and larger PDR with the occurrence of novel sounds in children compared to adults. Both groups showed enhanced ERP and PDR amplitudes for emotional compared to neutral novel sounds. To follow up the costs and benefits issue on the behavioral level, participants (children aged 6 to 8 years and adults) performed a discrimination task while listening to a task-irrelevant sound sequence containing standard, emotional and neutral novel sounds. Reaction times (RTs) and PDRs were recorded in Studies II and III. The objective of these experiments was to find a direct relationship between enhanced arousal (i.e., larger PDR) and faster reaction times in the emotional trials compared to neutral trials. Results showed that highly arousing emotional novel sounds reduced distraction effects and this reduction was stronger in children compared to adults. However, the relationship between arousal and reaction times in the emotional trials was not confirmed by the multilevel analysis conducted on adults, probably reflecting partially distinct processes. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I conducted an online version of Study II on adults. RTs were recorded remotely. Results showed distraction effects even in more ecological environments, whereas the reduced distraction effects due to emotional information were not observed. Study V targeted the question in more detail of whether pupil dilation responses reflect the same attentional mechanisms commonly examined in EEG experiments. Adults listened to a sound sequence containing deviant sounds (e.g. pink noise, 750 Hz, 525 Hz high and low loudness deviants etc.) while watching a silent video. Results showed that, compared to standard sounds (500 Hz), only pink noise, moderate and strong frequency deviants and high-loudness sounds elicited significant PDRs in adults. Overall, results indicated that children aged 8 to 10 years old are more sensitive to the occurrence of novel sounds but can process emotional novel sounds at an advanced level both on a behavioral and cortical level. Furthermore, the pupil can be used as an alternative method in attentional developmental research. This thesis proposes an updated version of the three-stage model of involuntary attention by including the effects of emotion on attention.eng
dc.format.extent151 Seiten-
dc.titleThe effects of emotion on involuntary attention in children and adultseng
local.publisher.universityOrInstitutionOtto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Fakultät für Naturwissenschaften-
Appears in Collections:Fakultät für Naturwissenschaften

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