Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



While there is extensive literature on visual spatial attention, less is known about auditory spatial attention, especially in terms of attention control. There is also a growing literature highlighting the importance of considering individual differences in attention control ability. Given these points, the purpose of this study was twofold. The first was to understand how auditory attention control is influenced by spatial location as well as vision. The second was to examine whether individual differences in attention control ability can predict task performance in that context. We utilized two tasks for these purposes. Experiment 1a consisted of a cross-modal Stroop task with spatialized spoken color word targets with visual color square distractors. Experiment 1b then measured individual differences in attention control ability using a novel, adaptive version of the classic Stroop task. Task performance on Experiment 1b was compared to Experiment 1a to assess the predictive power of the adaptive Stroop task. The results of Experiment 1a showed that the spatial location of auditory targets did not impact the cross-modal Stroop effect. Experiment 1a addressed the role of auditory spatial location in the cross-modal Stroop task more generally, and also contributed to a novel understanding of the shape of the auditory attention control gradient. The results of Experiment 1b showed that individual differences in attention control ability did not predict performance in Experiment 1a. Experiment 1b addressed levels of attention control as well as the larger question of the importance of individual differences in improving attention control measurement.



Committee Chair

Elliott, Emily M.