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The effects of background white noise on memory performance in inattentive school children

Göran, Söderlund; Sikström, Sverker LU ; Jan, Loftesnes and Edmund, Sonuga-Barke (2010) In Behavioral and Brain Functions 6(55).
Abstract
Abstract

Background: Noise is typically conceived of as being detrimental for cognitive performance; however, a recent computational model based on the concepts of stochastic resonance and dopamine related internal noise postulates that a moderate amount of auditive noise benefit individuals in hypodopaminergic states. On the basis of this model we predicted that inattentive children would be enhanced by adding background white noise while attentive children’s performance would deteriorate.

Methods: Fifty-one secondary school pupils carried out an episodic verbal free recall test in two noise conditions. In the high noise condition, verb-noun sentences were presented during auditory background noise (white noise, 78 dB),... (More)
Abstract

Background: Noise is typically conceived of as being detrimental for cognitive performance; however, a recent computational model based on the concepts of stochastic resonance and dopamine related internal noise postulates that a moderate amount of auditive noise benefit individuals in hypodopaminergic states. On the basis of this model we predicted that inattentive children would be enhanced by adding background white noise while attentive children’s performance would deteriorate.

Methods: Fifty-one secondary school pupils carried out an episodic verbal free recall test in two noise conditions. In the high noise condition, verb-noun sentences were presented during auditory background noise (white noise, 78 dB), and in the low noise condition sentences were presented without noise.

Results: Exposure to background noise improved performance for inattentive children and worsened performance for attentive children and eliminated episodic memory differences between attentive and inattentive school children.

Conclusions: Consistent with the model, our data show that cognitive performance can be moderated by external background white noise stimulation in a non-clinical group of inattentive participants. This finding needs replicating in a larger sample using more noise levels but if replicated has great practical applications by offering a non-invasive way to improve school results in children with attentional problems. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
noise, inattentive, enhancement, memory, cognitive
in
Behavioral and Brain Functions
volume
6
issue
55
publisher
BioMed Central
external identifiers
  • scopus:77957104352
ISSN
1744-9081
DOI
10.1186/1744-9081-6-55
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
683090b3-775d-4a35-a556-b70cb1c49122 (old id 1790546)
date added to LUP
2011-03-23 10:51:48
date last changed
2018-07-08 03:40:09
@article{683090b3-775d-4a35-a556-b70cb1c49122,
  abstract     = {Abstract<br/><br>
Background: Noise is typically conceived of as being detrimental for cognitive performance; however, a recent computational model based on the concepts of stochastic resonance and dopamine related internal noise postulates that a moderate amount of auditive noise benefit individuals in hypodopaminergic states. On the basis of this model we predicted that inattentive children would be enhanced by adding background white noise while attentive children’s performance would deteriorate.<br/><br>
Methods: Fifty-one secondary school pupils carried out an episodic verbal free recall test in two noise conditions. In the high noise condition, verb-noun sentences were presented during auditory background noise (white noise, 78 dB), and in the low noise condition sentences were presented without noise.<br/><br>
Results: Exposure to background noise improved performance for inattentive children and worsened performance for attentive children and eliminated episodic memory differences between attentive and inattentive school children.<br/><br>
Conclusions: Consistent with the model, our data show that cognitive performance can be moderated by external background white noise stimulation in a non-clinical group of inattentive participants. This finding needs replicating in a larger sample using more noise levels but if replicated has great practical applications by offering a non-invasive way to improve school results in children with attentional problems.},
  author       = {Göran, Söderlund and Sikström, Sverker and Jan, Loftesnes and Edmund, Sonuga-Barke},
  issn         = {1744-9081},
  keyword      = {noise,inattentive,enhancement,memory,cognitive},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {55},
  publisher    = {BioMed Central},
  series       = {Behavioral and Brain Functions},
  title        = {The effects of background white noise on memory performance in inattentive school children},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1744-9081-6-55},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2010},
}