- auditory deafness
- A term introduced in or shortly before 1995 by the American psychologists Arien Mack (b. 1931) and Irvin Rock (1922-1995). The term auditory deafness is used to denote a complete failure to consciously perceive an above-threshold auditory stimulus, because of the observer's focus of attention being elsewhere. A typical setting in which auditory deafness can be found to occur is dichotic listening, i.e. a setting where a test person is requested to listen carefully to a certain auditory stimulus and is simultaneously presented with an unexpected and somewhat different auditory stimulus in the unattended ear. The partial unawareness of the presence of such an aberrant auditory stimulus is called " inattentional deafness. The phenomenon itself has been described in the medico-psychological literature at least since the era of mesmerism. In the 19th century hypnotist tradition, for example, inattentive-ness constitutes one of the explanatory models for the mediation of "negative hallucinations. An analogous phenomenon, occurring in the visual modality, is called " inattentional blindness. When occurring in the tactile or haptic modality, the term "tactile insensitivity is used. Yet another related phenomenon is known as "change blindness. On the basis of psychological and philosophical studies in areas such as these a new brand of scepticism has been developed (see the entry Grand illusion argument).ReferencesParish, E. (1897). Hallucinations and illusions. A study of the fallacies of perception. London: Walter Scott.Mack, A., Rock, I. (1998). Inattentionalblindness. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Dictionary of Hallucinations. J.D. Blom. 2010.