AHH seminar: Focused vs. shared attention in multi-tasking

Speaker: Ervin Hafter
Date: Thursday 23 March
Time: 10.00am -11.30am
Location: Australian Hearing Hub, Level 1, Lecture Theatre

10.00am – 10.05am – Welcome
10.05am – 10.45am – Presentation
10.45am – 11.00am – Q & A
11.00am – 11.30am – Networking & Refreshments

Abstract: Reduced performance found when we have to do two things at the same time is often blamed on informational overload, that is, on the need to share a limited attentional resource. Results to be shown here are from two quite different conditions that reflect the problem, describing: (1) responses to the levels of simple auditory and visual stimuli presented in a psychophysical dual task, (2) speech reception in a simulated cocktail party (albeit, w/o booze) where two talkers tell different stories with the variable cadence of natural speech. In both conditions, we examine differences in situations where there is a cost of shared attention (serial processing) and where there is not (parallel processing). Without promising closure on this ancient question, I will try to make a convincing argument saying that the cost of shared attention in both tasks depended upon a single distinction, the memories to which target stimuli were compared.

Research Interests
Spatial hearing including: interactions between interaural time & intensity; binaural detection (MLDs) and perceived signal location; space coding spatial sensitivity in inferior colliculus; interaural timing in high-frequency envelopes; rate-related binaural &  monaural adaptation; restarting binaural processing; cross-correlational modeling; auditory scene; importance of stimulus onsets; temporal weighting.
Cognitive effects including:Signal uncertainty; role of bandwidth; cuing and focused attention; shared attention and the cost of attention.
Hearing Impairment including: Precedence in patients with cochlear implants; cognitive in noise reduction; separate rules for phonetics and semantics in noisy environments; naturalistic environments for study of attention.

1958         B.S. Psychology, Purdue Univ., W.Lafayette, Indiana
1959         Animal Behavior, R.B.Jackson Lab., Bar Harbor, Maine
1964         PhD, Psychology, Univ of Texas), Austin, TX, (w/L.A.Jeffress)

Research Positions
1966         Res. Sci. Aud. Perception/Signal detection, Tracor Corp., Austin, TX
2002         Prof. Emeritus, Psychology, UC Berkeley
Pres.         Prof. of the Graduate School, UC Berkeley

Who should come:  hearing, speech and language researchers and clinicians, cognitive scientists, psychologists, researchers in aging health and health care professionals.
Learn from one another and see what collaboration opportunities are available.
Entry is free and open to the public. Please register by Monday 20 March 2017 to louise.dodd@mq.edu.au