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An investigation of the influences of noise on EEG power bands and visual cognitive responses for human-oriented product design

Wonhak Cho, Sung-Ho Hwang and Hyeonki Choi*
The Journal of Mechanical Science and Technology, vol. 25, no. 3, pp.821-826, 2011

Abstract : Various different human-oriented approaches are required in industrial activities. Noise is one of the most widespread sources of environmental stress. So, it is important to consider noise when we design human-oriented products. This study investigates the responses of EEG and eye movement data in order to evaluate the direct effects of low, middle, and high frequency noise on the two main physiological stress aspects: the EEG band power (alpha and beta frequency bands) and pupil response time (PRT) for a human-oriented product design. Fifteen subjects were exposed to low (100 Hz), middle (1000 Hz), and high frequency (10000 Hz) noise while awake. EEG and eye movement data were collected during noise exposure. Alpha band activity in low and high frequency noise ranges was smaller than that in no sound. Alpha band activity decreased 19.3 ± 4.5 % in the low frequency noise range. Additionally, alpha band decreased 19.5 ± 5.4% in high frequency noise range. On the other hand, Beta band activity in low and high frequency noise ranges was greater than that in no sound. Beta band activity increased 26.9 ± 7.9 % in the low frequency noise range and increased 30.6 ± 6.1% in high frequency noise range. The PRT, or visual cognitive responses, in low or high frequency noise was greater than that in no sound. PRT increased 15.3 ± 3.0% in low frequency noise range. Alternatively, PRT increased 18.1 ± 3.2% in high frequency noise range. And results of EEG and eye movement were statistically significant in low and high frequency noise (r > 0.92, p < 0.05). The findings of this study indicate that the stress induced by low frequency noise is as stressful as the stress induced by high frequency noise. Additionally, utilizing eye movement data and acquiring the PRT is useful in the analysis of human stress responses during various stressful situations in addition to the analysis of human stress responses during noise exposure.

Keyword : Electroencephalogram; Human-oriented product design; Noise; Pupil response time; Visual cognitive responses

 
 
 
 
 
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