Malina Szychowska


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Works at Department of Psychology
Telephone 08-16 46 07
Visiting address Frescati hagväg 9
Room 221
Postal address Psykologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2017. Malina Szychowska (et al.). Neuroscience Letters 640, 37-41

    Auditory change detection has been studied extensively with mismatch negativity (MMN), an event-related potential. Because it is unresolved if the duration MMN depends on sound pressure level (SPL), we studied effects of different SPLs (56, 66, and 76 dB) on the duration MMN. Further, previous research suggests that the MMN is reduced by a concurrent visual task. Because a recent behavioral study found that high visual perceptual load strongly reduced detection sensitivity to irrelevant sounds, we studied if the duration MMN is reduced by load, and if this reduction is stronger at low SPLs. Although a duration MMN was observed for all SPLs, the MMN was apparently not moderated strongly by SPL, perceptual load, or their interaction, because all 95% CIs overlapped zero. In a contrast analysis of the MMN (across loads) between the 56-dB and 76-dB groups, evidence (BF = 0.31) favored the null hypothesis that duration MMN is unaffected by a 20-dB increase in SPL. Similarly, evidence (BF = 0.19) favored the null hypothesis that effects of perceptual load on the duration MMN do not change with a 20-dB increase in SPL. However, evidence (BF = 3.12) favored the alternative hypothesis that the effect of perceptual load in the present study resembled the overall effect in a recent meta-analysis. When the present findings were combined with the meta-analysis, the effect of load (low minus high) was −0.43 μV, 95% CI [−0.64, −0.22] suggesting that the duration MMN decreases with load. These findings provide support for a sensitive monitoring system of the auditory environment.

  • 2016. Anna Preis (et al.). Noise Control Engineering Journal 64 (1), 34-43

    Currently research into the psychological evaluation of noise in daily life is car- ried out without taking into account the sense of sight. The human senses interact with each other; thus some information coming from one sense can be skipped or ignored in favor of information coming from another sense, leading to completely different reactions or behavior. The aim of this paper is to verify, on the basis of psychophysical experiments, how a human being processes audio-visual informa- tion coming from the different environmental noises which can be encountered in daily life. The experiment was divided into three parts: auditory, visual, and audio-visual. In each part of the experiment, the ICBEN scale (0–10) was used to rate the presented stimuli. In the first part only audio stimuli were pre- sented, and subjects were asked to rate their annoyance with the sound. In the second part of the experiment, the participants were asked to rate how pleasant the presented video clips were. Finally, in the last part of the experiment, parti- cipants were presented with a compatible and incompatible mix of audio and visual stimuli and asked to rate their annoyance. We found that several audio stimuli were assessed differently, to a significant extent, by listeners after video clips were added to them. © 2016 Institute of Noise Control Engineering.

  • 2016. Stefan Wiens, Malina Szychowska, Mats E. Nilsson. PLoS ONE 11 (1)

    Because the auditory system is particularly useful in monitoring the environment, previous research has examined whether task-irrelevant, auditory distracters are processed even if subjects focus their attention on visual stimuli. This research suggests that attentionally demanding visual tasks decrease the auditory mismatch negativity (MMN) to simultaneously presented auditory distractors. Because a recent behavioral study found that high visual perceptual load decreased detection sensitivity of simultaneous tones, we used a similar task (n= 28) to determine if high visual perceptual load would reduce the auditory MMN. Results suggested that perceptual load did not decrease the MMN. At face value, these nonsignificant findings may suggest that effects of perceptual load on the MMN are smaller than those of other demanding visual tasks. If so, effect sizes should differ systematically between the present and previous studies. We conducted a selective meta-analysis of published studies in which the MMN was derived from the EEG, the visual task demands were continuous and varied between high and low within the same task, and the task-irrelevant tones were presented in a typical oddball paradigm simultaneously with the visual stimuli. Because the meta-analysis suggested that the present (null) findings did not differ systematically from previous findings, the available evidence was combined. Results of this meta-analysis confirmed that demanding visual tasks reduce the MMN to auditory distracters. However, because the meta-analysis was based on small studies and because of the risk for publication biases, future studies should be preregistered with large samples (n > 150) to provide confirmatory evidence for the results of the present meta-analysis. These future studies should also use control conditions that reduce confounding effects of neural adaptation, and use load manipulations that are defined independently from their effects on the MMN.

Show all publications by Malina Szychowska at Stockholm University

Last updated: November 16, 2018

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