Directional selectivity of auditory spatial attention in multi-talker environment

Ryo Teraoka, Shuichi Sakamoto, Zhenglie Cui, Yoiti Suzuki, Satoshi Shioiri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


When people direct their auditory selective attention in a specific direction, the information from that direction can be perceived easily, even in a noisy environment. Understanding how this effect is distributed spatially is important. The extent of spatial distribution may depend on the direction of the attention focus, and thus may differ between the frontal and oblique directions. In the present study, we investigated the dependence of the spatial extent of auditory selective attention on the focus azimuthal direction. To examine the spatial extent, speech intelligibility was measured in a multi-talker environment. In the experiment, a target sound and multiple distracting speech sounds were presented simultaneously from loudspeakers surrounding observers. By manipulating the probability of the target presentation directions, the listener's auditory spatial attention was directed to a specific loudspeaker. The attracted direction was one of three directions: -30, 0, or +30 degrees. The results showed that the greatest improvement in intelligibility was observed at the attracted direction, for all attracted directions. The spatial extent of the auditory selective attention seems identical for all attracted directions. This means that the attention spotlight is not modulated by the direction of the attention.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd International Congress on Acoustics
Subtitle of host publicationIntegrating 4th EAA Euroregio 2019
EditorsMartin Ochmann, Vorlander Michael, Janina Fels
PublisherInternational Commission for Acoustics (ICA)
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9783939296157
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event23rd International Congress on Acoustics: Integrating 4th EAA Euroregio, ICA 2019 - Aachen, Germany
Duration: 2019 Sept 92019 Sept 23

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Congress on Acoustics
ISSN (Print)2226-7808
ISSN (Electronic)2415-1599


Conference23rd International Congress on Acoustics: Integrating 4th EAA Euroregio, ICA 2019


  • Auditory scene analysis
  • Auditory spatial attention
  • Cocktail-party effect
  • Psychoacoustics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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