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Understanding noise stress-induced cognitive impairment in healthy adults and its implications for schizophrenia

Wright, Bernice; Peters, Emmanuelle; Ettinger, Ulrich; Kuipers, Elizabeth; Kumari, Veena


Emmanuelle Peters

Ulrich Ettinger

Elizabeth Kuipers

Veena Kumari


Noise stress (NS) is detrimental to many aspects of human health and behavior. Understanding the effect of noise stressors on human cognitive function is a growing area of research and is crucial to helping clinical populations, such as those with schizophrenia, which are particularly sensitive to stressors. A review of electronic databases for studies assessing the effect of acute NS on cognitive functions in healthy adults revealed 31 relevant studies. The review revealed (1) NS exerts a clear negative effect on attention, working memory and episodic recall, and (2) personality characteristics, in particular neuroticism, and sleep influence the impact of noise stressors on performance in interaction with task complexity. Previous findings of consistent impairment in NS-relevant cognitive domains, heightened sensitivity to stressors, elevated neuroticism and sleep disturbances in schizophrenia, taken together with the findings of this review, highlight the need for empirical studies to elucidate whether NS, a common aspect of urban environments, exacerbates cognitive deficits and other symptoms in schizophrenia and related clinical populations.


Wright, B., Peters, E., Ettinger, U., Kuipers, E., & Kumari, V. (2014). Understanding noise stress-induced cognitive impairment in healthy adults and its implications for schizophrenia. Noise & health, 16(70), 166-176.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 20, 2014
Publication Date Jun 20, 2014
Deposit Date Jul 5, 2018
Journal Noise and Health
Print ISSN 1463-1741
Electronic ISSN 1998-4030
Publisher Medknow Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 70
Pages 166-176
Keywords Cognitive deficits; Literature review; Noise stress
Public URL
Publisher URL;year=2014;volume=16;issue=70;spage=166;epage=176;aulast=Wright