A body of laboratory work is reviewed suggesting that auditory distraction comes in two functionally distinct forms. Interference-by-process is produced when the involuntary processing of the sound competes for a similar process applied deliberately to perform a focal task. In contrast, attentional capture is produced when the sound causes a disengagement of attention away from the prevailing task, regardless of the task processes involved. Particular attention is devoted to reviewing a range of converging evidence from both experimental and individual- and group-differences based research indicating that auditory attentional capture is controllable via greater top-down task-engagement whereas interference-by-process is not.
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|Published - Mar 2014