Fachgebiet Cognitive and Developmental Psychology

Effects of task-irrelevant sounds on cognitive performance in children

Principal Investigators: Maria Klatte & Thomas Lachmann

Source of funding: German Research Foundation (DFG)

Grant amount: 202.600 €

Funding Period: 01.01.2019 to 31.12.2021

Project Description:

Whether and to what extent task-irrelevant background sounds disrupt cognitive performance depends on characteristics of the tasks, the sounds, and the individuals exposed. The interactions of these variables are still unresolved. This project is part of a joint project involving acoustics, cognitive psychology, and developmental psychology, aiming to further elucidate the cognitive mechanisms underlying sound-induced performance decrements, as well as their dependencies on the auditory-perceptive authenticity of the auditory scene in which cognitive performance is assessed. In the experiments, sound and task characteristics are varied systematically, while accounting for potential moderating effects the participants´ cognitive abilities. Furthermore, the project examines whether the performance effects observed with basic recording and reproduction techniques (i.e., headphone presentation of mono recordings) are comparable to the effects of plausible acoustic scenarios generated and presented using up-to-date recording and reproduction technology. We expect sound-induced distraction to increase with increasing complexity and authenticity of the acoustic scenarios. 


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