Hearing and cognitive performance in low frequency noise


  1. Nakashima, A.M.
  2. Abel, S.M.
  3. Duncan, M.
  4. Smith, D.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
This study was designed to investigate the effects of low-frequency noise on hearing and cognitive performance. Three noise conditions were compared: quiet (control), broadband (pink) noise and low frequency noise (LFN). The low frequency noise was recorded inside a LAV III (light armoured vehicle) during high-speed highway driving. The pink noise and LFN were both presented at 80 dBA. In each of these three noise conditions, the subjects were tested on auditory detection (a variation of Békésy tracking), speech understanding (modified rhyme test [MRT]) and cognitive function. The cognitive tests included subjective questionnaires relating to mood and motivation, short-term memory, serial reaction time, mental addition, detection of repeated letters and logical reasoning. Each subject performed these various tests in three different listening conditions: unoccluded, earmuff with active noise reduction (ANR) off and earmuff with ANR on. The preliminary results indicate that the use of a hearing protector in noise (pink or vehicle) did not significantly affect signal detection at any frequency, or speech understanding. It appears that the presence of noise affects performance on vigilance tasks, but not short term memory or logical reasoning tasks.

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

low fequency noise, hearing protection, auditory detection, modified rhyme test,
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-SL-2006-134 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Sep 2006
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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