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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 35  |  Page : 35--41

Hearing, communication and cognition in low-frequency noise from armoured vehicles

1 Individual Readiness Section, Defence Research and Development Canada - Toronto, Toronto, Canada
2 Collaborative Performance and Learning Section, Defence Research and Development Canada - Toronto, Toronto, Canada
3 Human Systems Integration Section, Defence Research and Development Canada - Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Ann Nakashima
1133 Sheppard Ave West, Toronto, ON M3M 3B9
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.36978

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An experiment was performed to study auditory perception and cognitive function in the presence of low-frequency dominant armoured vehicle noise (LAV III). Thirty-six normal hearing subjects were assigned to one of three noise backgrounds: Quiet, pink noise and vehicle noise. The pink and vehicle noise were presented at 80 dBA. Each subject performed an auditory detection test, modified rhyme test (MRT) and cognitive test battery for three different ear conditions: Unoccluded and fitted with an active noise reduction (ANR) headset in passive and ANR modes. Auditory detection was measured at six 1/3 octave band frequencies from 0.25 to 8 kHz. The cognitive test battery consisted of two subjective questionnaires and five performance tasks. The earmuff, both in the conventional and ANR modes, did not significantly affect detection thresholds at any frequency in the pink and vehicle noise backgrounds. For the MRT, there were no significant differences between the speech levels required for 60% correct responses for three ear conditions in the pink and vehicle noise backgrounds. A small but significant (4 dB) increase in speech level was required in pink noise as compared to vehicle noise. For the serial reaction time task, the mean response time in the vehicle noise background (751 ms) was significantly higher than in pink noise and quiet (709 and 651 ms, respectively). The mean response time in the pink noise background was also significantly higher than in quiet. Thus, the presence of noise, especially low-frequency noise, had a negative effect on reaction time.


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