Affiliations: [a] School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada | [b] Institute for Sports and Sport Science, University of Kassel, Kassel, Germany
Address for correspondence: David G. Behm, School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, A1C 5S7. Tel.: +1 709 737 3408; Fax: +1 709 737 3979; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: The objective was to determine whether specific types and volumes of sounds affect driving-related tasks. Participants completed six trials while exposed to different sound types (hard rock, classical music and industrial noise) and volumes (53 versus 95 db (A)). Participants executed a randomized order of tasks, involving: movement (MT), reaction time (RT), simulated driving (SimD), and non-conscious perception of masking stimuli. The results suggest high volumes impaired SimD, RT and MT. During hard rock music, accommodation HR was significantly higher whereas male RT was slower than female RT. However, RT was enhanced when subjects were exposed to hard rock music during a non-conscious task of longer duration. SimD crashes increased during quiet hard rock music in comparison to quiet industrial noise. Experimental HR was lower during quiet sound volumes for both genders. In summary, loud volumes affect simple vigilance whereas hard rock music may affect tasks involving concentration and attention especially with males.