Preattentive auditory context effects

István Winkler, Elyse Sussman, Mari Tervaniemi, János Horváth, Walter Ritter, Risto Näätänen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The effects of auditory context on the preattentive and perceptual organization of tone sequences were investigated. Two sets of experiments were conducted in which the pitch of contextual tones was varied, bringing about two different contextual manipulations. Preattentive auditory organization was indexed by the mismatch negativity event-related potential, which is elicited by violations of auditory regularities even when participants ignore the sounds (e.g., by reading a book). The perceptual effects of the contextual manipulations on auditory grouping were assessed using target-detection and order-judgment tasks. The close correspondence found between the effects of auditory context on the perceptual and preattentive measures of auditory grouping suggests that a large part of contextual processing is preattentive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-77
Number of pages21
JournalCognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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