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Noise improves cognitive performance in children with dysfunctional neurotransmission
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Research on children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has shown that they are extremely sensitive to distraction from external stimuli that lead to poor cognitive performance. This thesis shows that cognitive performance can be improved if this external stimulus is smooth and continuous (e.g. auditory white noise). Control children attenuate their performance under such conditions. The first Study proposes the moderate brain arousal model (MBA). This neurocomputational model predicts selective improvement from noise in ADHD children. Noise through a phenomenon called stochastic resonance (SR), can be beneficial in dopamine deprived neural systems. The statistical phenomenon of SR explains how the signal-to-noise ratio can be improved by noise in neural systems where the passing a threshold is required. The second Study provides experimental support for the MBA-model by showing that ADHD children improve performance in a free recall task while exposed to auditive noise. Control children declines in the same condition. The third Study generalizes this finding among low achieving children, which it is argued have low dopamine levels. Noise exposure improves performance in low achievers, but inhibits performance in high achievers. The conclusion is that external auditory noise can restore low dopamine levels and thus improve cognitive performance. It is also proposed that dopamine levels modulate the SR effect; this means that low dopamine persons require more noise to obtain an SR effect. Both excessive and insufficient dopamine is detrimental for cognitive performance. The MBA model can be used to explain several shortcomings where changes in the dopamine system have been identified. The MBA model can also help create appropriate and adaptive environments, especially in schools, for persons with a deficient dopamine function, such as ADHD children.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Psykologiska institutionen , 2007. , 152 p.
Keyword [en]
ADHD, noise, stochastic resonance, dopamine, episodic memory, model, brain arousal, SPT, cognitive performance, children
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7040ISBN: 978-91-7155-492-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-7040DiVA: diva2:197522
Public defence
2007-09-21, David Magnussonsalen (U31), hus 8, Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-08-30 Created: 2007-08-28 Last updated: 2010-10-21Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Stimulus Dependent Dopamine Release in ADHD
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stimulus Dependent Dopamine Release in ADHD
2007 (English)In: Psychological review, ISSN 0033-295X, E-ISSN 1939-1471, Vol. 114, no 4, 1047-1075 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is related to an attenuated and dysfunctional dopamine system. Normally, a high extracellular dopamine level yields a tonic dopaminergic input that down-regulates stimuli-evoked phasic dopamine responses through autoreceptors. Abnormally low tonic extracellular dopamine in ADHD up-regulates the autoreceptors so that stimuli-evoked phasic dopamine is boosted. The authors propose that these boosted phasic responses yield hypersensitivity to environmental stimuli in ADHD. Stimuli evoking moderate brain arousal lead to well-functioning performance, whereas either too little or too much stimuli attenuate cognitive performance. Strong, salient stimuli may easily disrupt attention, whereas an environment with impoverished stimuli causes low arousal, which is typically compensated for by hyperactivity. Stochastic resonance is the phenomenon that makes a moderate noise facilitate stimulus discrimination and cognitive performance. Computational modeling shows that more noise is required for stochastic resonance to occur in dopamine-deprived neural systems in ADHD. This prediction is supported by empirical data.

National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24430 (URN)10.1037/0033-295X.114.4.1047 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-08-30 Created: 2007-08-28 Last updated: 2011-05-16Bibliographically approved
2. Listen to the noise: Noise is beneficial for cognitive performance in ADHD
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Listen to the noise: Noise is beneficial for cognitive performance in ADHD
2007 In: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Vol. 48, no 8, 840-847 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24431 (URN)000248846300012 ()
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7040Available from: 2007-08-30 Created: 2007-08-28Bibliographically approved
3. Noise is Not a Nuisance: Noise Improves Cognitive Performance in Low Achieving School Children
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Noise is Not a Nuisance: Noise Improves Cognitive Performance in Low Achieving School Children
Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-24432 (URN)
Note
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7040Available from: 2007-08-30 Created: 2007-08-28Bibliographically approved

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