Fabrice Parmentier is awarded funding for a 4-year research project on auditory distraction from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness under its competitive 2014 "Excellence" R&D program. The project, worth 150000 Euros (+21% indirect costs), will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Erich Schröger (University of Leipzig, Germany), Prof. Frederick Verbruggen (University of Exeter, UK) and Dr Toñi Pacheco-Unguetti (this group).
The work will consist in a series of original laboratory studies aiming to understand the cognitive underpinnings of distraction by unexpected stimuli (especially auditory). Its aim is to understand better how and when extranesous stimuli distract us, and to identify factors that increase or reduce such distraction. By doing so, the project seeks (1) to develop a better theoretical model of attentional distraction that may be useful to other researchers as well as clinicians working with individuals especially susceptible to distraction; (2) to identify factors that may be used to reduce distraction or evaluate the potential risk for distraction in everyday life and safety-critical situations. The research will include series of experiments studying the effect of various stimuli characteristics and situations on distraction, as well as the role of factors specific to individuals such as their age or their emotional state.