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Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2010 Oct;83(7):743-51. doi: 10.1007/s00420-010-0515-5. Epub 2010 Feb 9.

Effects of nocturnal aircraft noise on cognitive performance in the following morning: dose-response relationships in laboratory and field.

Author information

  • 1DLR-German Aerospace Centre, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Linder Hoehe, 51170 Cologne, Germany. eva-maria.elmenhorst@dlr.de

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Nocturnal aircraft noise disturbs sleep and impairs recuperation. We investigated in laboratory and field studies whether noise-induced sleep fragmentation is associated with performance impairments in a psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) and a memory search task.

METHODS:

In the laboratory, 112 participants were exposed to aircraft noise during 9 consecutive nights. In the field, 64 participants were examined during 9 consecutive nights in the vicinity of Cologne/Bonn airport. Reaction time, signal detection performance and subjective task load were recorded.

RESULTS:

Dose-response relationships showed significant, linear impairments in reaction times. In the laboratory, reaction time in PVT increased with 0.13 ms/dB equivalent noise level (LAeq) plus 0.02 ms/noise event. In the field study, reaction time increased with 0.3 ms/dB LAeq. Participants worked significantly less accurate after nocturnal noise exposure.

CONCLUSION:

Influences of LAeq and number of noise events on daytime performance were small but consistent and significant, stressing the potential public health impact of nocturnal noise exposure.

PMID:
20143082
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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