Cocktail party phenomena

From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history

"The cocktail party effect or cocktail party phenomena is a term for [the] well-established phenomena of selective attention - the way that individuals are able to monitor unattended information subconsciously, such that they pick up highly sensitive information (e.g. their own name) even when attending to entirely different stimuli, and when they are unaware of the rest of the unattended message." (Hayes & Stratton, 2017)[1]

Selective attention to sound[edit | edit source]

The Cocktail Party Problem

“How do we recognize what one person is saying when others are speaking at the same time?” With this question, E. Colin Cherry defined the “Cocktail Party Problem” six decades ago (Cherry, 1953).

―Lee, Larson, Maddox & Shinn-Cunningham (2014)[2]

Symptom recognition[edit | edit source]

Cocktail party phenomena is recognized in combination with hyperacusis in the Canadian Consensus Criteria for ME/CFS, but is not part of the diagnostic criteria.[3][2]

Hyperacusis and the cocktail party phenomena are grouped together as visual and auditory disturbances in the Canadian Consensus Criteria, along with:

  • photophobia
  • visual changes or eye pain
  • double, blurred or wavy vision
  • dry or itchy eyes
  • tinnitus–buzzing or ringing in ears[3]

The newer International Consensus Criteria for ME does not to the cocktail party effect, but does include the following as a neurocognitive symptom in the diagnostic criteria:

Examples given include cognitive overload. While hyperacusis is not mentioned, sensitivity to noise is one of the examples of neurosensory, perceptual and motor disturbances.[4]

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]