Auditory gist perception: an alternative to attentional selection of auditory streams?


Abstract  The idea that the gist of a visual scene is perceived before attention is focused on the details of a particular object is becoming increasingly popular. In the auditory system, on the other hand, it is typically assumed that the sensory signal is rst broken down into streams and then attention is applied to select one of the streams. We consider evidence for an alternative: that, in close analogy with the visual system, the gist of an auditory scene is perceived and only afterwards attention is paid to relevant constituents. We nd that much experimental evidence is consistent with such a proposal, and we suggest some possibilities for gist representations.

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