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Psychological responses to noise and vibration
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Clinical Medicine.
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Vehicle drivers are a group of workers that are exposed to noise and whole-body vibration (WBV) several hours a day. Some drivers may also be exposed to high mental loads – monitoring and manipulating physical controls while engaging problem solving activities often with strong short-term memory and spatial manipulation components. Present standards and regulations that govern health risk assessment do not take into consideration the complexities of these multiple exposure environments. The effect of one factor (for example, noise or WBV) may be different than the effect of two factors presented together. This thesis investigates whether the combination of noise and WBV affects the performance of cognitive tasks more than when the exposures are presented separately.

A series of studies were designed to expose subjects to noise and WBV stimuli designed to simulate real life working conditions. Different combinations of subjective ratings, cognitive tests, and cortisol measurements were conducted both during and immediately after exposures, which ranged from 20 to 45 minutes.

The studies have shown that a combination of noise and WBV do not degrade cognitive performance more than a single stimulus. However, WBV can degrade attention performance after exposure is turned off when drivers have been working under high mental load during exposure. The combined stimuli are also experienced as more annoying and work is more difficult in such conditions. The exposure times and task difficulty levels used in this thesis did not produce biological stress as measured by cortisol. Nevertheless, subjective ratings are sometimes seen as early indicators of other symptoms and with increased task difficulty and/or longer exposure times there may appear other measurable outcomes of the combined stimuli.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Folkhälsa och klinisk medicin , 2006. , 52 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1068
Keyword [en]
Psychology, Cognitive, Cortisol, Noise, Vibration, Occupational, Vehicle, Weinstein, Occupational, Vehicle, Weinstein, Weinstein
Keyword [sv]
Psykologi
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-915ISBN: 91-7264-215-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-915DiVA: diva2:145030
Public defence
2006-11-24, Stora föreläsningssalen, Arbetslivsinstitutet, Johan Bures väg 5, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-11-06 Created: 2006-11-06 Last updated: 2009-10-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Cognitive performance and subjective experience during combined exposures to whole-body vibration and noise.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cognitive performance and subjective experience during combined exposures to whole-body vibration and noise.
2004 (English)In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 77, no 3, 217-221 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Keyword
Adult, Analysis of Variance, Cognition, Female, Humans, Male, Noise, Sweden, Vibration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-6001 (URN)10.1007/s00420-003-0497-7 (DOI)14749930 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2007-12-04 Created: 2007-12-04 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Effects on spatial skills after exposure to low frequency noise
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects on spatial skills after exposure to low frequency noise
2004 (English)In: Journal of Low Frequency Noise Vibration and Active Control, ISSN 0263-0923, Vol. 23, no 1, 1-6 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-5496 (URN)
Available from: 2006-11-06 Created: 2006-11-06 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
3. Stress, subjective experience and cognitive performance during exposure to noise an vibration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stress, subjective experience and cognitive performance during exposure to noise an vibration
2007 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Psychology, ISSN 0272-4944, E-ISSN 1522-9610, Vol. 27, no 1, 44-54 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the effects of noise and whole-body vibration on saliva cortisol levels and subjectively rated difficulty and stress while performing cognitive tasks. In the first experiment, 24 men completed a logical reasoning task and a short-term memory task while, on separate occasions, being exposed to noise, vibration, combined stimuli, and control conditions. The environmental stimuli were designed to simulate the exposure from a forestry vehicle. The main finding was that participants made significantly higher ratings of stress when the noise stimulus was present, either alone or in combination with vibration. There were, however, some indications that noise sensitivity might moderate both subjective and objective measures such as higher ratings of stress and elevated cortisol levels in high noise sensitive participants. A second experiment was conducted where noise sensitivity was used as an inclusion criterion. A low sensitive and a high sensitive group were created, each containing 16 participants. The results of the second experiment, found only marginal effects of noise sensitivity and no effects at all on performance or cortisol. Increased ratings of stress and difficulty were found whenever either environmental stressor was present, whether by itself or in combination. The same result was seen even when pooling the data from both experiments. The main conclusion of the study is that relatively short exposures to noise and vibration typical of those levels that are found in industrial vehicles do not significantly affect performance in cognitive tasks nor saliva cortisol levels even if work in these environments can be experienced as more difficult or stressful.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd, 2007
Keyword
Noise sensitivity, Cortisol, Memory, Subjective ratings
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
medicinsk beteendevetenskap; Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-7465 (URN)10.1016/j.jenvp.2006.12.003 (DOI)
Available from: 2008-01-23 Created: 2008-01-23 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Cognitive after-effects of vibration and noise exposure and the role of subjective noise sensitivity.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cognitive after-effects of vibration and noise exposure and the role of subjective noise sensitivity.
2007 (English)In: Journal of Occupational Health, ISSN 1341-9145, E-ISSN 1348-9585, Vol. 49, no 2, 111-116 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigated the effects on attention performance after exposure to noise and whole-body vibration in relation to subjective noise sensitivity. Sixteen high and 16 low sensitivity male students, as determined by the Weinstein Noise Sensitivity Questionnaire, participated in a within-subjects experiment. Noise and vibration stimuli similar to those usually occurring in forestry vehicles were presented either individually, combined or not at all in four separate sessions lasting approximately 44 min. After exposure, participants completed an attention task and made subjective ratings of alertness. No main effect of noise sensitivity was observed in MANOVA, thus the data was pooled with the data from a pilot study using the exact same procedure without using a noise sensitivity inclusion criterion. The combined data revealed performance degradation in the attention task after exposure to vibration, regardless as to whether it was presented alone or in combination with noise. Increased ratings of alertness after vibration exposure and decreased ratings of alertness after noise exposure were also found. Neither synergistic nor antagonistic effects were observed from the combined noise and vibration exposure.

Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-18827 (URN)10.1539/joh.49.111 (DOI)17429168 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2009-02-25 Created: 2009-02-25 Last updated: 2017-12-13
5. Cognitive degradation after exposure to combined noise and whole-body vibration in a simulated vehicle ride
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cognitive degradation after exposure to combined noise and whole-body vibration in a simulated vehicle ride
2007 (English)In: International Journal of Vehicle Noise and Vibration (IJVNV), ISSN 1479-148X, Vol. 3, no 2, 130-142 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigated if vehicle noise and whole-body vibrations produce negative after-effects on performance in an attention task and on ratings of alertness, difficulty, and annoyance. The task was applied before and after exposure, and after a rest. Participants had degraded performance immediately after exposure in all conditions, but no effect was found after the rest. No main effect was found between exposure conditions on performance, it was concluded that the degraded performance dependent on time was caused by fatigue. The results also suggested lower ratings of alertness and higher ratings of annoyance in the vibration condition compared to the control condition.

Keyword
vehicle vibration, vehicle noise, cognitive degradation, after-effects, alertness, annoyance, whole-body vibrations, ride simulation, performance degradation, fatigue
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-24944 (URN)10.1504/IJVNV.2007.014900 (DOI)
Available from: 2009-07-24 Created: 2009-07-24 Last updated: 2012-01-24

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