- Noise sensitivity in relation to baseline arousal, physiological response and psychological features to noise exposure during task performance
- INTER-NOISE and NOISE-CON Congress and Conference Proceedings
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
People who consider themselves sensitive to noise, experience more noise annoyance, sleep disturbance and reduced daytime performance. Besides psychological factors, an association with cardiovascular reactions during noise has been established in noise sensitives. Decreased efficiency of the parasympathetic nervous system in the regulation of heart rate has been hypothesized. In this study the effect of background noise (65 dB(A)) on cortical arousal levels and heart rate variability was studied in a group of high and low Noise Sensitivity (NS). Subjects (N=30) were selected based on their score on the NSS. EEG and ECG were recorded during task performance with and without background noise. The results showed a non-significant trend: high NS subjects seemed to have slightly higher baseline arousal levels. When controlling for baseline arousal levels high NS subjects showed more high arousal activity during noise condition than during silence. This was not the case for low NS subjects, who remained at intermediate levels during both conditions. Mean heartbeat variation was significantly higher within the high NS group compared to the low NS group. Even moderate background noise levels resulted in different physiological responses between groups. When exploring the association between NS and personality traits, neuroticism appeared to be a predictor for NS. High correlations were found with introversion and overall sensitivity to (non-acoustical) stimuli. This led us to conclude that NS might not be a single construct, but part of a more generic sensitivity to environmental stimuli as has been suggested previously.
- Proceedings title: InterNoise10, Lisbon, Portugal
Publisher: International Institute of Noise Control Engineering
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