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Psychol Sci. 2002 Sep;13(5):469-74.

A prospective study of some effects of aircraft noise on cognitive performance in schoolchildren.

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Centre for Built Environment, University of Gävle, Sweden.


Before the opening of the new Munich International Airport and the termination of the old airport, children near both sites were recruited into aircraft-noise groups (aircraft noise at present or pending) and control groups with no aircraft noise (closely matched for socioeconomic status). A total of 326 children (mean age = 10.4 years) took part in three data-collection waves, one before and two after the switch-over of the airports. After the switch, long-term memory and reading were impaired in the noise group at the new airport. and improved in the formerly noise-exposed group at the old airport. Short-term memory also improved in the latter group after the old airport was closed. At the new airport, speech perception was impaired in the newly noise-exposed group. Mediational analyses suggest that poorer reading was not mediated by speech perception, and that impaired recall was in part mediated by reading.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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