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Inattentional deafness to auditory alarms: Inter-individual differences, electrophysiological signature and single trial classification

Dehais, Frédéric and Roy, Raphaëlle N. and Scannella, Sébastien Inattentional deafness to auditory alarms: Inter-individual differences, electrophysiological signature and single trial classification. (2019) Behavioural Brain Research, 360. 51-59. ISSN 0166-4328

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2018.11.045


Inattentional deafness can have deleterious consequences in complex real-life situations (e.g. healthcare, aviation) leading to miss critical auditory signals. Such failure of auditory attention is thought to rely on top-down biasing mechanisms at the central executive level. A complementary approach to account for this phenomenon is to consider the existence of visual dominance over hearing that could be implemented via direct visual-to-auditory pathways. To investigate this phenomenon, thirteen aircraft pilots, equipped with a 32-channel EEG system, faced a low and high workload scenarii along with an auditory oddball task in a motion flight simulator. Prior to the flying task, the pilots were screened to assess their working memory span and visual dominance susceptibility. The behavioral results disclosed that the volunteers missed 57.7% of the auditory alarms in the difficult condition. Among all evaluated capabilities, only the visual dominance index was predictive of the miss rate in the difficult scenario. These findings provide behavioral evidences that other early cross-modal competitive process than top down modulation process could account for inattentional deafness. The electrophysiological analyses showed that the miss over the hit alarms led to a significant amplitude reduction of early perceptual (N100) and late attentional (P3a and P3b) event-related potentials components. Eventually, we implemented an EEG-based processing pipeline to perform single-trial classification of inattentional deafness. The results indicate that this processing chain could be used in an ecological setting as it led to 72.2% mean accuracy to discriminate missed from hit auditory alarms.

Item Type:Article
HAL Id:hal-01991825
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE-SUPAERO (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
AXA Research Fund
Deposited On:24 Jan 2019 08:59

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