Auditory Cognition and Human Performance: Research and Applications, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Auditory Cognition and Human Performance

Research and Applications, 1st Edition

By Carryl L. Baldwin

CRC Press

343 pages | 38 B/W Illus.

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Hearing and understanding sound — auditory processing — greatly enriches everyday life and enhances our ability to perform many tasks essential to survival. The complex soundscape in which we live influences where we direct our attention, how we communicate with each other, and how we interact with technological systems. Auditory Cognition and Human Performance: Research and Applicationsexplores how we accomplish this no less than remarkable task. It provides an overview of key auditory sensation and perception topics and mental workload theory, providing those who may be unfamiliar with these topics a foundation on which to understand applied auditory cognition.

The book examines the relationship between auditory cognition and human performance, highlighting the nature of situations in which the mental resource requirements of auditory processing may be compromised. It focuses on the importance of increasing our understanding of auditory cognition and its relationship to human performance. Written in an accessible and engaging style, this book balances coverage of basic and applied research, supplies copious examples to explain key concepts, and includes extensive references for further reading and exploration. Bringing together coverage of sensory and cognitive processes, the author discusses how their interaction can be used to improve display design.

Despite the relative neglect that auditory processing has received in earlier years, the auditory modality remains a potent source of information with several advantageous and unique characteristics. Over the past two decades there has been a growing base of empirical research on auditory cognition and its role in human performance at work and in everyday life. This book points out many of the questions that have yet to be resolved and provides the understanding needed to design more effective auditory displays, make better alerts and warnings, and improve communications and a wide variety of other things.

Table of Contents

Hearing: The Neglected Sense


The Battle of the Senses: Vision versus Audition

Early Human Performance Research

Early Developments in Modern Cognitive Psychology

Sensation and Perception Research

Scope of This Book

Concluding Remarks

The Auditory World


Sources of Sound

Sources of Sound in Work Environments

Sources of Sound in the Cockpit

In-Vehicle Auditory Telematics

Sounds in Medical Care Environments

Auditory Devices for the Visually Impaired


Concluding Remarks

Auditory Pattern Perception: The Auditory Processing System


Characteristics of Sound Perception

The Sound Stimulus

Music Processing

Essential Auditory Processes


Concluding Remarks

Auditory Cognition: The Role of Attention and Cognition in Auditory Processing



Early Attention Research

The Information-Processing Approach

Working Memory

Serial versus Parallel Processing

Artificial Neural Networks


Concluding Remarks

Theories and Techniques of Mental Workload Assessment


Limited-Capacity Models

Resource Theories

Working Memory Processes

Multiple Resources—Multiple Networks

Mental Workload: Key Constructs

Mental Workload Assessment


Concluding Remarks

Auditory Tasks in Cognitive Research


Historical Beginnings

Dichotic Listening Tasks

Encoding and Retrieval Processes

Auditory Task Indices of Working Memory

Psychological Refractory Period

Mental Workload Assessment

Auditory Neuropsychological Tests

Auditory Tasks in Cognitive Aging Research


Concluding Remarks

Nonverbal Sounds and Workload


Auditory Perceptual Organization

Auditory Object Recognition


Music Defined

Music and Performance

Music and Cognition

The Mozart Effect

Musical Training


Chronic Noise Exposure

Auditory Vigilance


Concluding Remarks

Mental Workload and Speech Processing


Chapter Overview

Speech-Processing Challenges

Lexical Selection

Syntactical Level

Approaches to Speech-Processing Theory

Models of Word Recognition

Parameters Influencing Mental Workload



Concluding Remarks

Cross-Modal Influences in Sound and Speech


Verbal and Visual Codes

Language by Ear and by Eye

Cross-Modal Links

Audiovisual Speech

Cross-Modal Spatial Attention

Time-Sharing Auditory and Visual Tasks


Concluding Remarks

Auditory Processing and the Older Adult


Age-Related Changes in Auditory Processing

Age-Related Changes in Hearing

Age-Related Cognitive Changes

Age-Related Changes in Speech Processing

Strategy Differences and Compensation

Age-Related Design


Concluding Remarks

Auditory Display Design


Advantages of Auditory Displays

Auditory Display Challenges

Psychoacoustics of Auditory Displays

Data Sonification

Auditory Displays in Complex Environments


Concluding Remarks



Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Engineering
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Industrial Health & Safety