Volume 128, Issue 5, November 2010
Index of content:
- NOISE: ITS EFFECTS AND CONTROL 
The role of annoyance in the relation between transportation noise and children’s health and cognition128(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3483737View Description Hide Description
On the basis of this study it cannot be ruled out that the appraisal of the noise affects the association between air and road traffic noise exposure and children’s health and cognition. However, the conclusion is limited due to the relatively small group of annoyed children, which may have influenced our group comparisons. Furthermore, the observed relation between annoyance and perceived health is possibly biased due to the fact that both were measured within the same questionnaire. These are the main conclusions of a cross-sectional multi-center study carried out among 2,844 schoolchildren (age 9–11 years) attending 89 primary schools around three European airports. The aim was to investigate how annoyance affects the relation between air and road traffic noise exposure and children’s health and cognition. Different, sometimes competing, working mechanisms of how noise affects children’s health are suggested. Some effects are supposed to be precipitated through (chronic) stress, while others may arise directly. There is still no theory that can adequately account for the circumstances in which noise will affect cognitive performance.
128(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3493437View Description Hide Description
The exposure-response relationships between subjective annoyance with sleep disturbance from railway trains and road traffic noise were established from an extensive social survey by CENVR (Center for Environmental Noise and Vibration Research) in Korea. The objectives of this research are to determine the long-term effects of noise on sleep and to compare the exposure-response relationships from different noise sources with those from other studies and to elucidate the effects of some modifying factors on subjective responses to noise. From an investigation of the percentage of a highly sleep-disturbed population (%HSD) in response to railway and road traffic noise, it was found that sleep is affected more by railway noise than by road traffic noise. The effects of non-acoustical factors on the responses were examined and sensitivity was shown to be a significant modifying factor, as it pertains to subjective sleep disturbance. A comparison of the response curves from an analysis of pooled data from predominantly European surveys by Miedema and Vos [Behav. Sleep Med.5, 1–20 (2007)] with the response curves from this survey showed more of a subjective sleep disturbance response in this survey to railway noise, whereas there was no significant difference in terms of a response to road traffic noise.
128(2010); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3493436View Description Hide Description
There is a need for a model that identifies underlying dimensions of soundscape perception, and which may guide measurement and improvement of soundscape quality. With the purpose to develop such a model, a listening experiment was conducted. One hundred listeners measured 50 excerpts of binaural recordings of urban outdoor soundscapes on 116 attribute scales. The average attribute scale values were subjected to principal components analysis, resulting in three components: Pleasantness, eventfulness, and familiarity, explaining 50, 18 and 6% of the total variance, respectively. The principal-component scores were correlated with physical soundscape properties, including categories of dominant sounds and acoustic variables. Soundscape excerpts dominated by technological sounds were found to be unpleasant, whereas soundscape excerpts dominated by natural sounds were pleasant, and soundscape excerpts dominated by human sounds were eventful. These relationships remained after controlling for the overall soundscape loudness (Zwicker’s ), which shows that ‘informational’ properties are substantial contributors to the perception of soundscape. The proposed principal components model provides a framework for future soundscape research and practice. In particular, it suggests which basic dimensions are necessary to measure, how to measure them by a defined set of attribute scales, and how to promote high-quality soundscapes.