Organised by the South West branch of the British Psychological Society.
Speaker: Professor Sue Denham, Professor in Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, Plymouth University.
Talk: 6.15pm - 7.15pm
The ability of the auditory system to parse complex scenes into component objects in order to extract information from the environment is very robust, yet the processing principles underlying this ability are still not well understood.
Our study was designed to investigate the idea that the auditory system constructs multiple interpretations of the acoustic scene in parallel, and given sufficient time, conscious perception switches between the various possibilities. We trained listeners to recognise all possible embedded patterns of length four in a continuous sound sequence and in a series of test sessions investigated their spontaneous reports of those patterns. Despite receiving consistent training and despite the apparent randomness of perceptual switching, we found individual switching patterns were idiosyncratic; i.e. the perceptual switching patterns of each participant were more similar to their own switching patterns in different sessions than to those of other participants. These individual differences were found to be preserved even between test sessions separated by over a year! Perceptual multistability thus provides a means for characterising both general mechanisms and individual differences in human perception.
This free event is open to all including BPS members, students and the general public. The talk will be held upstairs in the conference room of The China House. Please note that seating is limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis. Email for any queries with the subject heading 'Plymouth Hub Talk'.