Selective Attention: Cocktail Party Effect

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Untitled.pngThere is a phenomenon called the cocktail party effect that is talked about in Chapter Four. The cocktail party effect is our ability to tune everything out and listen to one conversation that caught our attention.

The conversation caught our attention because we might have heard our name said by a person talking. Even though the conversation has nothing to do with us, we still perk up at the sound of our name. This phenomenon shows that our brains have a certain involuntary action, which perks up when we hear a name that we recognize. The cocktail party effect also shows that we can block out other conversations that are not important to us.

My name is Angela and whenever I hear someone say a name or anything that starts with An I automatically turn to see if they are talking to me. Almost all of the time they are not talking to me and I do not even recognize the person who said the name. The cocktail party effect makes me wonder if there is such a filter in our brain that we can access that would allow us to block out background noise and listen in on a conversation far away. Even if this conversation has nothing to do with us but we are just curious about what they are saying. I believe there is because whenever I hear my name said I hear every word after my name crystal clear and if we can access that part of the brain we could hear ever conversation that interested us clear.

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This page contains a single entry by koeck009 published on September 26, 2011 8:30 PM.

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