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   Table of Contents - Current issue
October-December 2022
Volume 24 | Issue 115
Page Nos. 199-247

Online since Monday, December 19, 2022

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Quantifying the Effect of Noise on Cognitive Processes: A Review of Psychophysiological Correlates of Workload p. 199
Jan Grenzebach, Erik Romanus
Noise is present in most work environments, including emissions from machines and devices, irrelevant speech from colleagues, and traffic noise. Although it is generally accepted that noise below the permissible exposure limits does not pose a considerable risk for auditory effects like hearing impairments. Yet, noise can have a direct adverse effect on cognitive performance (non-auditory effects like workload or stress). Under certain circumstances, the observable performance for a task carried out in silence compared to noisy surroundings may not differ. One possible explanation for this phenomenon needs further investigation: individuals may invest additional cognitive resources to overcome the distraction from irrelevant auditory stimulation. Recent developments in measurements of psychophysiological correlates and analysis methods of load-related parameters can shed light on this complex interaction. These objective measurements complement subjective self-report of perceived effort by quantifying unnoticed noise-related cognitive workload. In this review, literature databases were searched for peer-reviewed journal articles that deal with an at least partially irrelevant “auditory stimulation” during an ongoing “cognitive task” that is accompanied by “psychophysiological correlates” to quantify the “momentary workload.” The spectrum of assessed types of “auditory stimulations” extended from speech stimuli (varying intelligibility), oddball sounds (repeating short tone sequences), and auditory stressors (white noise, task-irrelevant real-life sounds). The type of “auditory stimulation” was related (speech stimuli) or unrelated (oddball, auditory stressor) to the type of primary “cognitive task.” The types of “cognitive tasks” include speech-related tasks, fundamental psychological assessment tasks, and real-world/simulated tasks. The “psychophysiological correlates” include pupillometry and eye-tracking, recordings of brain activity (hemodynamic, potentials), cardiovascular markers, skin conductance, endocrinological markers, and behavioral markers. The prevention of negative effects on health by unexpected stressful soundscapes during mental work starts with the continuous estimation of cognitive workload triggered by auditory noise. This review gives a comprehensive overview of methods that were tested for their sensitivity as markers of workload in various auditory settings during cognitive processing.
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Impact of Noise Exposure on Risk of Developing Stress-Related Metabolic Effects: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis p. 215
Kapeena Sivakumaran, Jennifer A Ritonja, Haya Waseem, Leena AlShenaiber, Elissa Morgan, Salman A Ahmadi, Allison Denning, David Michaud, Rebecca L Morgan
Background: Exposure to noise can increase biological stress reactions, which may increase adverse health effects, including metabolic disorders; however, the certainty in the association between exposure to noise and metabolic outcomes has not been widely explored. The objective of this review is to evaluate the evidence between noise exposures and metabolic effects. Materials and Methods: A systematic review of English and comparative studies available in PubMed, Cochrane Central, EMBASE, and CINAHL databases between January 1, 1980 and December 29, 2021 was performed. Risk of Bias of Nonrandomized Studies of Exposures was used to assess risk of bias of individual studies and certainty of the body of evidence for each outcome was assessed using the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) approach. Results: Fifty-six primary studies reporting on cortisol, cholesterol levels, waist circumference, glucose levels, and adrenaline and/or noradrenaline were identified. Although meta-analyses suggested that there may be an increase in waist circumference and adrenaline with increased noise exposure, the certainty in the evidence is very low. Overall, the certainty in the evidence of an effect of increased noise on all the outcomes were low to very low due to concerns with risk of bias, inconsistency across exposure sources, populations, and studies, and imprecision in the estimates of effects. Conclusions: The certainty of the evidence of increased noise on metabolic effects was low to very low, which likely reflects the inability to compare across the totality of the evidence for each outcome. The findings from this review may be used to inform policies involving noise reduction and mitigation strategies, and to direct further research in areas that currently have limited evidence available.
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A Cross-Sectional Study on the Effect of Chronic Noise Exposure on the Vestibular Function of Traffic Policemen and Automobile Drivers p. 231
Soumyajit Das, Vinoth Kumar Kalidoss, Satvinder Singh Bakshi, Seepana Ramesh
Introduction: Noise is a preventable occupational hazard for certain professions like automobile drivers and traffic police personnel. The harmful auditory effects of noise are well known. However, little is known about the status of the vestibular function in chronic noise exposure without noise induced hearing loss. Our objective was to assess the vestibular function in chronic noise exposure. Methodology: The study was conducted with a sample size of 242 (chronic noise exposure group − 121, group without chronic noise exposure − 121). Noise estimation was carried out across various traffic intersections to assess the noise exposure levels of the exposed group. All participants underwent a detailed vestibular evaluation in the clinical vestibulometry laboratory. Results: There was no difference in nystagmus, saccades, caloric function between the two groups. The latency and amplitude of vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP) were similar in both the groups. However, dynamic posturography showed a significant difference in the Adaptation test between the two groups (P < 0.05). We also found a statistically significant difference between the static and dynamic subjective visual vertical (SVV) and the dynamic visual acuity (DVA) between the two groups (P < 0.05). Conclusion: We did not find any clinical evidence of vestibular dysfunction in the noise exposed group. However, the statistical significance of SVV and DVA as seen in this study needs to be evaluated further as an early marker for vestibular dysfunction. It remains to be seen whether the statistically significant prolongation is reversible after the noise exposure is withdrawn.
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A Comparison of Self-Reported Nonoccupational Noise Exposure in a Large Cohort of Listeners p. 237
Kendell Adson, Kamryn James, Nirmal Srinivasan, Saradha Ananthakrishnan
Objective: A variety of questionnaires have been developed to describe and quantify occupational and nonoccupational noise exposure, which are associated with hearing loss and tinnitus. The main aim of this study was to compare and contrast three commonly used nonoccupational noise exposure measurement questionnaires in a group of young adults. Materials and Methods: A total of 197 participants were recruited for this study. All the participants completed three commonly used nonoccupational noise exposure measurement questionnaires via Qualtrics software (Qualtrics, Provo, UT). General patterns in the nature of noise exposure were highlighted and statistical agreement and correlations between the three instruments were calculated. Comparisons were made between self-percept of noise exposure and annual noise exposure metrics obtained using questionnaires. Results: Strong statistical agreement and correlation (r = 0.57, P < 0.001) was found between the selected instruments similar in their constructs of noise exposure. When compared to quantified scores of noise exposure, self-report of exposure to loud noise was highly sensitive but associated with poor specificity (3.61%) and a high false-positive rate (96.38%). The majority of participants reported exposure to noise from listening to music and attending loud recreational activities, with a differential effect of sex on average annual noise exposure values depending on the questionnaire used. Conclusions: The outcomes of this analysis could assist in comparing noise exposure quantifications across research studies, and determining if and how these questionnaires may be utilized clinically to effectively identify and counsel those at risk for noise-induced hearing loss.
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