Volume 33 (2012) Issue 3 Pages 147-153
Dichotic listening studies have shown that information relevant to listeners, such as their own name, can be recognized even when presented to the unattended ear. Here, we used a dichotic listening paradigm to explore whether Japanese listeners could identify their name in the unattended ear even when sensory information was incomplete. The results showed that Japanese listeners with family names of 3, 4, or 5 morae — a speech unit equivalent to a syllable in English — recognized their name in about 20–60% of the trials even when the first or the last mora of the name was omitted. The data further showed a name-final effect under the 4- and 5-morae conditions: name recognition significantly decreased when the last mora of the listener’s name was omitted as compared with the omission of the first mora. A possible explanation for these results is that self-relevant information, even when incomplete, automatically draws attention to the supposedly unattended ear and that the listener’s recognition of the information is more robust when its end part is presented.