This study was supported by the Finnish Work Environment Fund, the Academy of Finland (77322), and the Hungarian National Research fund (OTKA T034112). We thank Jari Kallio, M.A., and Satu Pakarinen, M.A., for assisting in data analysis, and Pentti Ristola, M.D. (Kvaerner Masa Yards, Helsinki), for help in subject recruitment.
Long-term exposure to noise impairs cortical sound processing and attention control
Version of Record online: 15 OCT 2004
Volume 41, Issue 6, pages 875–881, November 2004
How to Cite
Kujala, T., Shtyrov, Y., Winkler, I., Saher, M., Tervaniemi, M., Sallinen, M., Teder-Sälejärvi, W., Alho, K., Reinikainen, K. and Näätänen, R. (2004), Long-term exposure to noise impairs cortical sound processing and attention control. Psychophysiology, 41: 875–881. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8986.2004.00244.x
- Issue online: 15 OCT 2004
- Version of Record online: 15 OCT 2004
- (Received October 2, 2003; Accepted June 22, 2004)
- Long-term effects of noise;
- Auditory processing;
- Sound discrimination;
- Mismatch negativity;
Long-term exposure to noise impairs human health, causing pathological changes in the inner ear as well as other anatomical and physiological deficits. Numerous individuals are daily exposed to excessive noise. However, there is a lack of systematic research on the effects of noise on cortical function. Here we report data showing that long-term exposure to noise has a persistent effect on central auditory processing and leads to concurrent behavioral deficits. We found that speech-sound discrimination was impaired in noise-exposed individuals, as indicated by behavioral responses and the mismatch negativity brain response. Furthermore, irrelevant sounds increased the distractibility of the noise-exposed subjects, which was shown by increased interference in task performance and aberrant brain responses. These results demonstrate that long-term exposure to noise has long-lasting detrimental effects on central auditory processing and attention control.