Detrimental noise effects on brain's speech functions

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  • Teija Kujala, Univ Turku, University of Turku, Dept Psychol
  • ,
  • Elvira Brattico

Background noise has become part of our everyday life in modern societies. Its presence affects both the ability to concentrate and communicate. Some individuals, like children, the elderly, and non-native speakers have pronounced problems in noisy environments. Here we review evidence suggesting that background noise has both transient and Sustained detrimental effects on central speech processing. Studies on the effects of noise on neural processes have demonstrated hemispheric reorganization in speech processing in adult individuals during background noise. During noise, the well-known left hemisphere dominance in speech discrimination became right hemisphere preponderant. Furthermore, long-term exposure to noise has a persistent effect on the brain organization of speech processing and attention control. These results both stress the importance to re-evaluate which noise levels can be considered safe for brain functions and raise concerns on the speech and cognitive abilities of individuals living in noisy environments. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiological Psychology
Volume81
Issue3
Pages (from-to)135-143
Number of pages9
ISSN0301-0511
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009

    Research areas

  • Acoustic noise, Speech lateralization, Hemispheric asymmetry, Auditory processing, INDUCED HEARING-LOSS, MAGNETIC MISMATCH NEGATIVITY, EVENT-RELATED POTENTIALS, SOUNDS VERTICAL-BAR, LONG-TERM EXPOSURE, AUDITORY-CORTEX, HEMISPHERIC LATERALIZATION, PHONEME REPRESENTATIONS, CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES, STOCHASTIC RESONANCE

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