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Ambient noise is often considered to be conducive to effective working. Yet, there are some types of background sounds that can hinder rather than enhance performance in tasks that involve cognitive processes, with human speech being a prominent example. In his lecture, Dr. John Everett Marsh from the University of Central Lancashire will present his research on why this might be the case.

The lecture, organized by Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Cognitive Studies is a part of the series "Mondays with Cognitive Psychology".

The lecture will be delivered in English. Free admission.
Please note, this time the lecture will take place on a Wednesday.

May 29, Wednesday
12:00-13:30
Warsaw

The Automaticity of Semantic Processing Revisited: Auditory Distraction by a Categorical Deviation

Various cognitive tasks such as learning or reading are often performed in noisy environments. We all share experiences of trying to focus on a task at hand while being distracted by someone else talking on the phone nearby. Research has shown that the presence of noise in general, and irrelevant human speech in particular, has a detrimental effect on performance in cognitive tasks. This effect of distractibility indicates that however much we strive to ignore auditory distraction, this distraction is nevertheless processed within the cognitive system. A remaining question concerns the levels of analysis this auditory distraction is subjected to. When faced with human speech, as auditory distraction, do people extract meaning from the words and sentences they hear? In other words, does the content of speech determine how distraction affects task performance? In his lecture, dr. John E. Marsh, an expert on the topic of distraction, will tackle this issue by concentrating on the effects of irrelevant human speech on performance in a memory task. Dr. Marsh will summarise his recent line of inquiry which focused on the semantic content of auditory distraction and reveal how unexpected changes within the semantic structure of to-be-ignored auditory stimuli affect the effectiveness of our memory.

Marsh

 

 

Speaker

John Everett Marsh, Ph.D. – is currently working as a Guild Research Fellow in Psychology at the University of Central Lancshire. His research is mainly focused on the accuracy and fluency of memory retrieval and the modulation of recall and recognition performance by distraction and task interruption. Although the majority of his research is behavioural, Dr. Marsh has begun to explore brain mechanisms of distraction. He is researching how distraction may be used as a tool to infer the structure of semantic knowledge and the specialisation of hemispheric function in language processing. He also investigates distractibility under conditions of stress in fire-fighters and establishing techniques to prevent distraction on complex cognitive tasks.

 

The issue of auditory distraction in the context of human speech impeding the completion of various cognitive tasks, such as reading and effective learning, is crucial to the understanding of mechanisms of selective focus as well as for practical applications, such as providing optimal working conditions. In his lecture, Doctor John Marsh will focus on distraction caused by human speech and how it impacts cognition.

Maciej Hanczakowski, Assistant Professor, Faculty of  Psychology 

Mondays with Cognitive Psychology

The lecture series, organized by the Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Cognitive Studies aims to popularize cognitive psychology and to show how the results of research in this field may improve understanding of many processes and help solve everyday problems.

Date and Location

Please note this time the lecture is on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at 12.00-13:30, room S305
Chodakowska 19/31, 03-915, Warszawa, Poland

Organizer

Interdisciplinary Center for Applied Cognitive Studies
Contact: Maciej Hanczakowski
E-mail: mhanczakowski@swps.edu.pl

 
 
 

 

 

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