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Listen to the Noise: Noise is Beneficial for Cognitive Performance in ADHD

Göran, Söderlund; Sikström, Sverker LU and Smart, Andrew LU (2007) In Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines 48(8). p.840-847
Abstract
Background: Noise is typically conceived of as being detrimental to cognitive performance. However,

given the mechanism of stochastic resonance, a certain amount of noise can benefit performance. We

investigate cognitive performance in noisy environments in relation to a neurocomputational model of

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dopamine. The Moderate Brain Arousal model

(MBA; Sikstro¨m & So¨derlund, 2007) suggests that dopamine levels modulate how much noise is

required for optimal cognitive performance. We experimentally examine how ADHD and control children

respond to different encoding conditions, providing different levels of environmental... (More)
Background: Noise is typically conceived of as being detrimental to cognitive performance. However,

given the mechanism of stochastic resonance, a certain amount of noise can benefit performance. We

investigate cognitive performance in noisy environments in relation to a neurocomputational model of

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dopamine. The Moderate Brain Arousal model

(MBA; Sikstro¨m & So¨derlund, 2007) suggests that dopamine levels modulate how much noise is

required for optimal cognitive performance. We experimentally examine how ADHD and control children

respond to different encoding conditions, providing different levels of environmental stimulation.

Methods: Participants carried out self-performed mini tasks (SPT), as a high memory performance

task, and a verbal task (VT), as a low memory task. These tasks were performed in the presence, or

absence, of auditory white noise. Results: Noise exerted a positive effect on cognitive performance for

the ADHD group and deteriorated performance for the control group, indicating that ADHD subjects

need more noise than controls for optimal cognitive performance. Conclusions: The positive effect of

white noise is explained by the phenomenon of stochastic resonance (SR), i.e., the phenomenon that

moderate noise facilitates cognitive performance. The MBA model suggests that noise in the environment,

introduces internal noise into the neural system through the perceptual system. This noise

induces SR in the neurotransmitter systems and makes this noise beneficial for cognitive performance.

In particular, the peak of the SR curve depends on the dopamine level, so that participants with low

dopamine levels (ADHD) require more noise for optimal cognitive performance compared to controls.

Keywords: ADHD, stochastic resonance, dopamine, episodic memory, SPT, noise. Abbreviations:

MBA: moderate brain arousal; SR: stochastic resonance; SPT: subject-performed task; VT:

verbal task (VT). (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
SPT, episodic memory, stochastic resonance, dopamine, ADHD, noise
in
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
volume
48
issue
8
pages
840 - 847
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
external identifiers
  • wos:000248846300012
  • scopus:34547808873
ISSN
1469-7610
DOI
10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01749.x
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
4df1f4c0-1e3d-4b18-ac92-b4c81d378d6e (old id 951355)
date added to LUP
2009-06-11 11:05:48
date last changed
2017-10-22 03:34:36
@article{4df1f4c0-1e3d-4b18-ac92-b4c81d378d6e,
  abstract     = {Background: Noise is typically conceived of as being detrimental to cognitive performance. However,<br/><br>
given the mechanism of stochastic resonance, a certain amount of noise can benefit performance. We<br/><br>
investigate cognitive performance in noisy environments in relation to a neurocomputational model of<br/><br>
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and dopamine. The Moderate Brain Arousal model<br/><br>
(MBA; Sikstro¨m &amp; So¨derlund, 2007) suggests that dopamine levels modulate how much noise is<br/><br>
required for optimal cognitive performance. We experimentally examine how ADHD and control children<br/><br>
respond to different encoding conditions, providing different levels of environmental stimulation.<br/><br>
Methods: Participants carried out self-performed mini tasks (SPT), as a high memory performance<br/><br>
task, and a verbal task (VT), as a low memory task. These tasks were performed in the presence, or<br/><br>
absence, of auditory white noise. Results: Noise exerted a positive effect on cognitive performance for<br/><br>
the ADHD group and deteriorated performance for the control group, indicating that ADHD subjects<br/><br>
need more noise than controls for optimal cognitive performance. Conclusions: The positive effect of<br/><br>
white noise is explained by the phenomenon of stochastic resonance (SR), i.e., the phenomenon that<br/><br>
moderate noise facilitates cognitive performance. The MBA model suggests that noise in the environment,<br/><br>
introduces internal noise into the neural system through the perceptual system. This noise<br/><br>
induces SR in the neurotransmitter systems and makes this noise beneficial for cognitive performance.<br/><br>
In particular, the peak of the SR curve depends on the dopamine level, so that participants with low<br/><br>
dopamine levels (ADHD) require more noise for optimal cognitive performance compared to controls.<br/><br>
Keywords: ADHD, stochastic resonance, dopamine, episodic memory, SPT, noise. Abbreviations:<br/><br>
MBA: moderate brain arousal; SR: stochastic resonance; SPT: subject-performed task; VT:<br/><br>
verbal task (VT).},
  author       = {Göran, Söderlund and Sikström, Sverker and Smart, Andrew},
  issn         = {1469-7610},
  keyword      = {SPT,episodic memory,stochastic resonance,dopamine,ADHD,noise},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {8},
  pages        = {840--847},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines},
  title        = {Listen to the Noise: Noise is Beneficial for Cognitive Performance in ADHD},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01749.x},
  volume       = {48},
  year         = {2007},
}