A case of superior auditory spatial attention

Robert Qnelch, Gurjit Singh, Kathy Picborm-Fuller


A study was conducted to investigate the hypothesis that individuals with prolonged musical experience are better able to report on speech in multi-talker listening situations. The results of the study suggest that prolonged musical experience may, in some cases, enhance a listener's ability to comprehend speech in complex listening environments. This may be due to an improved ability to process the various auditory cues due to spatial separation resulting in an enhanced ability to selectively attend to and/or divide attention among the competing talkers. The results also underscore the importance of top-down cognitive processing of auditory information. It also appears that this ability may help offset the detrimental effects that high-frequency hearing loss and chronic tinnitus might have on hearing, listening, and comprehending in complicated listening environments.


Audition; Separation; Auditory cues; Auditory informations; Cognitive processing; Detrimental effects; Hearing losses; High-frequency; Spatial attentions; Spatial separations; Top-down

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