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  • Basner, Mathias, et al. (författare)
  • ICBEN Review of Research on the Biological Effects of Noise 2011-2014
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: Noise & Health. - 1463-1741. ; 17:75, s. 57-82
  • Forskningsöversikt (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The mandate of the International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise (ICBEN) is to promote a high level of scientific research concerning all aspects of noise-induced effects on human beings and animals. In this review, ICBEN team chairs and co-chairs summarize relevant findings, publications, developments, and policies related to the biological effects of noise, with a focus on the period 2011-2014 and for the following topics: Noise-induced hearing loss; nonauditory effects of noise; effects of noise on performance and behavior; effects of noise on sleep; community response to noise; and interactions with other agents and contextual factors. Occupational settings and transport have been identified as the most prominent sources of noise that affect health. These reviews demonstrate that noise is a prevalent and often underestimated threat for both auditory and nonauditory health and that strategies for the prevention of noise and its associated negative health consequences are needed to promote public health.
  • Clark, Charlotte, et al. (författare)
  • A 3 year update on the influence of noise on performance and behavior
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: Noise & Health. - 1463-1741. ; 14:61, s. 292-296
  • Forskningsöversikt (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The effect of noise exposure on human performance and behavior continues to be a focus for research activities. This paper reviews developments in the field over the past 3 years, highlighting current areas of research, recent findings, and ongoing research in two main research areas: Field studies of noise effects on children's cognition and experimental studies of auditory distraction. Overall, the evidence for the effects of external environmental noise on children's cognition has strengthened in recent years, with the use of larger community samples and better noise characterization. Studies have begun to establish exposure-effect thresholds for noise effects on cognition. However, the evidence remains predominantly cross-sectional and future research needs to examine whether sound insulation might lessen the effects of external noise on children's learning. Research has also begun to explore the link between internal classroom acoustics and children's learning, aiming to further inform the design of the internal acoustic environment. Experimental studies of the effects of noise on cognitive performance are also reviewed, including functional differences in varieties of auditory distraction, semantic auditory distraction, individual differences in susceptibility to auditory distraction, and the role of cognitive control on the effects of noise on understanding and memory of target speech materials. In general, the results indicate that there are at least two functionally different types of auditory distraction: One due to the interruption of processes (as a result of attention being captured by the sound), another due to interference between processes. The magnitude of the former type is related to individual differences in cognitive control capacities (e.g., working memory capacity); the magnitude of the latter is not. Few studies address noise effects on behavioral outcomes, emphasizing the need for researchers to explore noise effects on behavior in more detail.
  • Domkin, Dmitry, et al. (författare)
  • Distraction of Eye-Hand Coordination Varies With Working Memory Capacity
  • 2013
  • Ingår i: Journal of motor behavior. - Taylor and Francis (Psychology Press) / Taylor and Francis (Routledge): STM, Behavioural Science and Public Health Titles. - 0022-2895. ; 45:1, s. 79-83
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The authors present a study of the relationship between individual variation in working memory capacity (WMC) and visually guided hand control in the face of visual distraction. WMC was assessed with the automated operation span task. Hand control was measured by requesting participants to track a visual target with a hand-held touch screen pen. Tracking error increased when nontarget visual objects (distractors) appeared, especially in individuals with low WMC. High-WMC individuals are less impaired by distractors than their low-WMC counterpart, because they resume target tracking more quickly after distractor onset. The results suggest that visual distractors cause a momentary interruption to tracking movements and that high WMC attenuates this interruption by facilitating visual search.
  • Haga, Andreas, et al. (författare)
  • An eco-label effect in the built environment : Performance and comfort effects of labeling a light source environmentally friendly
  • 2015
  • Konferensbidrag (refereegranskat)abstract
    • People tend to idealize eco-labeled products, but can eco-labeling have consequences for performance To address this question, 48 university students were asked to undertake a color discrimination task adjacent to a desktop lamp that was either labeled “environmentally friendly” or “conventional” (although they were identical). The light of the lamp labeled “environmentally friendly” was rated as more comfortable. Notably, task performance was also better when the lamp was labeled “environmentally friendly”. Individual differences in environmental concern, but not pro-environmental consumer behavior and social desirability indexes, were related to the magnitude of the eco-label effect on performance. Whilst some previous studies have shown similar placebo-like effects of eco-labels on subjective ratings, this is the first study to show an eco-label effect for artifacts in the built environment on performance, and the first study to relate this effect to environmental concern. Psychological mechanisms that may underpin the eco-label effects are discussed.
  • Halin, N., et al. (författare)
  • A shield against distraction
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition. - Elsevier. - 2211-3681. ; 3:1, s. 31-36
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • In this paper, we apply the basic idea of a trade-off between the level of concentration and distractibility to test whether a manipulation of task difficulty can shield against distraction. Participants read, either in quiet or with a speech noise background, texts that were displayed either in an easy-to-read or a hard-to-read font. Background speech impaired prose recall, but only when the text was displayed in the easy-to-read font. Most importantly, recall was better in the background speech condition for hard-to-read than for easy-to-read texts. Moreover, individual differences in working memory capacity were related to the magnitude of disruption, but only in the easy-to-read condition. Making a task more difficult can sometimes facilitate selective attention in noisy work environments by promoting focal-task engagement. 
  • Halin, Niklas, et al. (författare)
  • Central load reduces peripheral processing evidence from incidental memory of background speech
  • 2015
  • Ingår i: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. - 0036-5564. ; 56:6, s. 607-612
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Is there a trade-off between central (working memory) load and peripheral (perceptual) processing? To address this question, participants were requested to undertake an n-back task in one of two levels of central/cognitive load (i.e., 1-back or 2-back) in the presence of a to-be-ignored story presented via headphones. Participants were told to ignore the background story, but they were given a surprise memory test of what had been said in the background story, immediately after the n-back task was completed. Memory was poorer in the high central load (2-back) condition in comparison with the low central load (1-back) condition. Hence, when people compensate for higher central load, by increasing attentional engagement, peripheral processing is constrained. Moreover, participants with high working memory capacity (WMC)—with a superior ability for attentional engagement—remembered less of the background story, but only in the low central load condition. Taken together, peripheral processing—as indexed by incidental memory of background speech—is constrained when task engagement is high.
  • Halin, Niklas, et al. (författare)
  • Effects of speech on proofreading : can task-engagement manipulations shield against distraction?
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: Journal of experimental psychology. Applied. - 1076-898X. ; 20:1, s. 69-80
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • This article reports 2 experiments that examine techniques to shield against the potentially disruptive effects of task-irrelevant background speech on proofreading. The participants searched for errors in texts that were either normal (i.e., written in Times New Roman font) or altered (i.e., presented either in Haettenschweiler font or in Times New Roman but masked by visual noise) in 2 sound conditions: a silent condition and a condition with background speech. Proofreading for semantic/contextual errors was impaired by speech, but only when the text was normal. This effect of speech was completely abolished when the text was written in an altered font (Experiment 1) or when it was masked by visual noise (Experiment 2). There was no functional difference between the 2 ways to alter the text with regard to the way the manipulations influenced the effects of background speech on proofreading. The results indicate that increased task demands, which lead to greater focal-task engagement, may shield against the distracting effects of background speech on proofreading. 
  • Halin, Niklas, et al. (författare)
  • Higher Task Difficulty Shields Against Background Speech
  • 2015
  • Konferensbidrag (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Performance on visual-verbal tasks is generally impaired by task-irrelevant background speech, which can have consequences for individuals who works in noisy environments (e.g., schools or offices). This study examined the role increased task difficulty plays in shielding against the effects of background speech. This issue was addressed across 4 experiments whereby the level of task difficulty on visual-verbal tasks was manipulated (e.g., by changing the font of a text to one that is harder to read). Experiments 1 to 3 qualified the general finding: that background speech impairs performance on visual-verbal tasks (proofreading and prose memory), but only when task difficulty was low, not when it was high. Moreover, experiment 4 demonstrates that higher task difficulty on the focal task (n-back) also reduces recall on a surprise memory test on the content of a to-be-ignored background story. These results suggest that an increase in task difficulty, which promotes greater task engagement, can shield against the detrimental effects of background speech and also constrain the processing of complex semantic information present in background speech. 
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