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I've Heard That Before: Habituation of the Orienting Response Follows Repeated Presentation of Auditory Structural Features in Radio

Autor: Robert F. Potter, Teresa Lynch & Ashley Kraus
Revista: Communication Monographs
Link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03637751.2015.1019529

Research has used the cardiac orienting response (OR) to show that structural changes in the auditory environment cause people to briefly but automatically pay attention to messages such as radio broadcasts, podcasts, and web streaming. The voice change—an example of an auditory structural feature—elicits orienting across multiple repetitions. This article reports two experiments designed to investigate whether automatic attention allocation to repeated instances of other auditory structural features—namely production effects, jingles, and silence—is a robust phenomenon or if repetition leads to habituation.

In Study 1 we show that listeners of a simulated radio broadcast exhibit ORs following the onset of auditory structural features that differ in semantic content. The prediction that listeners would not habituate to feature repetition was not supported. Instead, both jingles and synthesized production effects result in more iconic ORs to the second repetition compared with the first.

However, orienting significantly diminished following the third repetition of both. Study 2 replicates this result using multiple repetitions of structural features containing identical semantic content.