Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study of German children living near airports shows jet aircraft noise impairs long-term memory and reading ability

08.10.2002


Excessive noise, such as jet aircraft flying overhead, impairs children’s reading ability and long-term memory, a Cornell University environmental psychologist and his European colleagues conclude in a study of schoolchildren living near airports.



"This is the first long-term study of the same children before and after airports near them opened and closed. It nails down that it is almost certain that noise is causing the differences in children’s ability to learn to read," says Gary Evans, an international expert on environmental stress, such as noise, crowding and air pollution.

In the past, a host of other studies have suggested that loud environmental noise interferes with children’s ability to learn, but these studies primarily have been cross-sectional -- comparing children living near airports with children in quieter areas. The latest study was of German children who went from a noisy environment to a quiet one and children who went from a quiet neighborhood to a noisy one.


The good news, says Evans, is that some of the reading and memory problems caused by jet noise is reversible in a quieter environment -- in the case of the study, once the local airport had closed.

The study, the first of its kind to examine the effects of airport noise on reading, memory, attention and speech perception in children, is published in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No.5, Sept. 2002).

The researchers analyzed data on 326 children (average age, 10) living near two sites in Munich: near the old airport, which was scheduled to close, and near the new airport site. The children were assessed three times: six months before the old airport closed and the new one opened, and one year and two years after the airport opening.

"Noise exposure is consistently linked to reading deficits and may interfere with speech perception and long-term memory in primary school children," says Evans. "But it wasn’t until we had this unprecedented opportunity to study children near the simultaneous opening and closing of the new and former Munich airports that we could actually find stronger evidence for a causal relation."

Evans, who has been studying the effects of noise for several years, says the latest study is further evidence that exposure to chronic noise can have serious health, learning and motivational effects in children and adults.

The study was supported, in part, by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the Nordic Scientific Group for Noise Effects, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the German Research Foundation and the National Swedish Institute for Building Research. Other authors are Staffan Hygge of the Royal Institute of Technology, Gävle, Sweden, and Monika Bullinger of the University of Hamburg, Germany.



Related World Wide Web sites: The following sites provide additional information on this news release.

o Study on how airport noise is harmful to health of children:
http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/March98/noise.stress.ssl.html

o Study on how even low-level noise affects worker health and motivation:
http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Jan01/noisy.offices.ssl.html

o Study on the effects of everyday traffic noise on children’s well-being:
http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/May01/roads.noise.kids.ssl.html

o Cross-sectional study on effects of noise on reading:
http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/May01/roads.noise.kids.ssl.html

o Information on Gary Evans:
http://www.human.cornell.edu/faculty/facultybio.cfm?netid=gwe1&facs=1

Susan S. Lang | EurekAlert!

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>