Final Thesis

Correlation of psychoacoustic parameters with the physiological parameter of skin conductance to asses extra-aural noise effects

Key Info

Basic Information

Research Area:
Noise Research
Type of Thesis:


Master Thesis of Laufs, Christian

Noise is a major factor affecting the health of many people today. In addition to the direct damage to hearing, the aural noise effects, there are also other non directly hearing-related health damages e.g. caused by psychological stress. These are described as extra-aural noise effects, that are also associated with possible poorer cognitive performance.
In order to better and more quickly assess these extra-aural effects of noise, this thesis links the psychoacoustic parameter of sharpness to stress response and cognitive performance. The stress response was assessed by measuring skin conductance as a physiological parameter, the cognitive performance by means of a cognitive test. Since stress reactions can also occur unconsciously, a physiological stress measurement can also indicate such reactions that are not detected by a self-reported stress measurement.
A listening experiment was designed where the participants performed a cognitive test and simultaneously heard various sounds that differed in sharpness. The measurement of skin conductance revealed an increased stress response to sharper sounds compared to sounds with less sharpness. Cognitive performance, on the other hand, unexpectedly increased when a sound with high sharpness was presented.