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Cognitive after-effects of vibration and noise exposure and the role of subjective noise sensitivity.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Occupational and Enviromental Medicine.
2007 (English)In: Journal of Occupational Health, ISSN 1341-9145, 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 49, no 2, 111-116 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-18827DOI: 10.1539/joh.49.111PubMedID: 17429168OAI: diva2:174863
Available from: 2009-02-25 Created: 2009-02-25 Last updated: 2009-10-09
In thesis
1. Psychological responses to noise and vibration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Psychological responses to noise and vibration
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.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1068
Psychology, Cognitive, Cortisol, Noise, Vibration, Occupational, Vehicle, Weinstein, Occupational, Vehicle, Weinstein, Weinstein, Psykologi
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-915 (URN)91-7264-215-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-11-24, Stora föreläsningssalen, Arbetslivsinstitutet, Johan Bures väg 5, Umeå, 09:00 (English)
Available from: 2006-11-06 Created: 2006-11-06 Last updated: 2009-10-09Bibliographically approved

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