This study investigates the neural basis of inattentional deafness, which could result from task irrelevance in the auditory modality.
Humans can fail to respond to auditory alarms under high workload situations. This failure, termed inattentional deafness, is often attributed to high workload in the visual modality, which reduces one’s capacity for information processing. Besides this, our capacity for processing auditory information could also be selectively diminished if there is no obvious task relevance in the auditory channel. This could be another contributing factor given the rarity of auditory warnings.