Effects of an Auditory Stimulus on the Nervous System and Selective Attention
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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Several theories have been proposed in an attempt to explain human attention, all accentuating the complexity in processing information. More specifically, the concept of inattentional blindness depicts how the limited number of cognitive resources of the human brain can be dominated by a specific stimuli, leading to an individual’s failure to notice a second stimuli. This concept has been tested on its own, but not in conjunction with an onset of a stress response. During a stressful situation, the sympathetic nervous system looks to allocate the body’s resources to eliminate the identified stressor. Based on the known physiological changes of an activated sympathetic response, electroencephalography, galvanic skin response, and a pulse oximeter were used in data collection. The hypothesis of this study was that an auditory stimulus of gunshots sounds would elicit an increase in heart rate, skin conductance, and beta wave frequency via an activated sympathetic nervous system, making one less likely to experience inattentional blindness. Two of the three physiological tests did not support the hypothesis, in that gunshots did not induce a statistically significant increase in heart rate or beta wave frequency; however, skin conductance did show a statistically significant increase as a result of the gunshots. Furthermore, there was no statistically significant difference between the experimental and control groups in their likelihood to experience inattentional blindness.
An article that appeared in JASS, issue 2017