(searched for: doi:10.1016/j.apergo.2022.103855)
Published: 29 September 2022
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Volume 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912434
Twelve healthy male students were recruited to investigate the physiological response to different noise exposure and mental workload (MW) conditions, while performing multi-attribute task battery (MATB) tasks. The experiments were conducted under three noise exposure conditions, with different sound pressure levels and sharpness. After adaptation to each noise condition, the participants were required to perform the resting test and the MATB task tests with low, medium, and high MW. The electroencephalogram (EEG), electrocardiogram (ECG), and eye movement data were obtained, during the periods when participants were in the resting and task taking state. The results showed that subjects’ physiological responses at rest were unaffected by noise exposure conditions. However, during the execution of MATB tasks, the elevated sound pressure level and increased sharpness were significantly correlated with increased mean pupil diameter and heart rate variability (HRV). These responses suggested that the human body defends itself through physiological regulation when noise causes adverse effects. If the negative effects of noise were more severe, this could damage the body’s health and result in a significant drop in task performance. The elevated mental demands led to increased stress on the subjects, which was reflected in a considerable increase in theta relative power. Either high or low MW was related with reduced saccade amplitude and a decrease in weighted task performance, indicating an inverted U-shaped relationship between workload level and work performance.