The influences of individual sensitivity, sound frequency and sound pressure level on cognitive performances of students
AbstractBackground: Low-frequency noise is annoying even at lower levels and affects cognitive functions of individuals.Some individual differences, such as sensitivity, can reduce or increase the effects of noise on cognitive performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of noise sensitivity on cognitive performance in the presence of low-frequency noise.Materials and Methods: In this interventional study, research population was all students who were studding at Hamadan University of Medical Sciences. For this purpose, 120 students were selected through purposive sampling (60 students with high sensitivity and 60 students with low sensitivity). To simulate the real environment of each subject, they were exposed to noise levels of 50, 60 and 70 dB for 40 min. While exposure to the determined noise levels, the cognitive performances of the subjects were examined using the integrative visual-auditory continuous performance test (IVA CPT). Data were analyzed using SPSS 20.0 software, independent t-test and ANOVA tests.Results: The results showed that the low-frequency noise negatively affected the components of cognitive performance, and it decreased the cognitive performances with increasing the sound pressure level (SPL) from 50 to 70 dB and from 125 to 250 Hz. (P<0.05). The effect of the sensitivity of individuals and gender showed that in female subjects with high sensitivity, cognitive performances were more affected than male subjects with low sensitivity (P <0.05).Conclusion: The results indicated that the components of attention and work quality reduced with increasing SPL, and this negative effect of low-frequency noise was higher in women with high sensitivity.
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