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The effects of background white noise on memory performance in inattentive school children
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Linguistics. (Fonetik)
Lunds Universitet.
Högskolan i Sogn ocgh Fjordane.
University of Southampton, UK.
2010 (English)In: Behavioral and Brain Functions, ISSN 1744-9081, E-ISSN 1744-9081, Vol. 6, no 55, 1-10 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Background: Noise is typically conceived of as being detrimental for cognitive performance; however, a recentcomputational model based on the concepts of stochastic resonance and dopamine related internal noisepostulates that a moderate amount of auditive noise benefit individuals in hypodopaminergic states. On the basisof this model we predicted that inattentive children would be enhanced by adding background white noise whileattentive children’s performance would deteriorate.

Methods: Fifty-one secondary school pupils carried out an episodic verbal free recall test in two noise conditions.In the high noise condition, verb-noun sentences were presented during auditory background noise (white noise,78 dB), and in the low noise condition sentences were presented without noise.

Results: Exposure to background noise improved performance for inattentive children and worsened performancefor attentive children and eliminated episodic memory differences between attentive and inattentive schoolchildren.

Conclusions: Consistent with the model, our data show that cognitive performance can be moderated by externalbackground white noise stimulation in a non-clinical group of inattentive participants. This finding needsreplicating in a larger sample using more noise levels but if replicated has great practical applications by offering anon-invasive way to improve school results in children with attentional problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 6, no 55, 1-10 p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-69963DOI: 10.1186/1744-9081-6-55OAI: diva2:478269
Available from: 2012-01-16 Created: 2012-01-16 Last updated: 2015-10-21Bibliographically approved

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Söderlund, Göran
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