ADHD: concentration through noise

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With ADHD concentration due to noise?

An international researcher found in a study with Norwegian schoolchildren that an evenly noisy environment can increase the concentration of inattentive children. Noise gets the brain going, the scientists say.

Children with poor concentration learn better with noise The research team led by Göran Söderlund from Stockholm University had 51 Norwegian high school students memorize words, first in a calm atmosphere and then with increased noise levels. The result, now published in the specialist magazine "Behavioral and Brain Functions", amazes. Children with poor concentration were able to memorize more words than before with a uniform background noise of 75 decibels. As expected, children who can concentrate well are distracted by the noise and therefore cut better in a quiet environment.

White noise as background noise In order to achieve a uniform sound level, the scientists used what is known as white noise, which occurs when there are many acoustic vibrations one above the other. White noise sounds like the search for a radio reception and corresponds to the noise on a busy street at a volume of 78 decibels. In acoustics, the effect of white noise is already used as a method for noise abatement, since subjectively it has a slightly deafening effect on the hearing and noise is perceived as less loud or annoying as soon as white noise is superimposed on it.

Cause of the effect: the phenomenon of stochastic resonance Study leader Göran Söderlund explains the result of the investigation with the phenomenon of stochastic resonance, which has the effect that noise below the hearing threshold is perceived as soon as it is underlaid with white noise. Because, paradoxically, some noises are best not perceived in absolute silence, but when they are accompanied by a certain background noise. In the course of the effect, however, not only the acoustic perception increases. The overall sensitivity of the senses of normally inattentive children is sharpened. In addition, it is reasonable to assume that children with poor concentration when listening to noise generally have to raise their attentions to be able to catch anything and are therefore more concentrated than in a quiet environment.

Noise therapy instead of medication The result of the study is promising for all affected children and parents, because with the development of a practical application of white noise, inattentive children could improve their ability to concentrate and thus their school performance without additional learning programs or the use of medication. This would be a blessing for the growing number of ADS and ADHD patients, because taking Ritalin & Co. may also be unnecessary in the course of such treatment. Göran Söderlund and colleagues emphasize, however, that the findings first have to be checked on a larger sample before appropriate application methods and funding programs can be developed. (fp, 09/30/2010)

Also read:
Often wrong ADHD diagnosis in children
Attention Deficit Disorder AD (H) S
ADHD portal against premature diagnoses
Environmental factors in ADHD hardly examined
Cannabis effective for ADHD?

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