Washington, Jan 20 : Human brain is capable of differentiating the minutest visual and auditory changes.
However, several studies have shown that that even a small span of time in between pre- and post-change images can disturb the brain's ability to detect visual discrepancies.
"The pre-change scene must be memorized in some way," explained psychologists Laurent Demany, Wiebke Trost, Maja Serman and Catherine Semal from the University of Bordeaux and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS).
"In the visual domain, numerous experiments have shown that even a very short gap of less than 100ms can dramatically disrupt our ability to detect a local change in complex images. Following such a gap, local changes can be detected only in very simple images." This phenomenon is known as 'change blindness,'" they added.
In a recent study, the aforesaid psychologists assessed the effect of time gaps on change detection in audition.
The researchers' goal was to determine if the brain uses similar mechanisms to perceive auditory changes as it does with vision.
In the study, the participants detected a pitch change in one tone presented together with other tones.
The complexity of the pre-change sound was varied, as well as the duration of the silent interval between the pre- and post-change sounds.
The experimenters reasoned that if auditory change detection is similar to the visual process, a complex sound should be remembered less well than a simple sound.
The analysis found that the participants were able to remember even the most complex sounds despite the time delays.
The findings of the study indicate that brain uses more efficient mechanisms in auditory memory than in visual memory
The study has been published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.