Study Noises and Their Link with ADHD

In our surrounding world, we listen to several types of sounds, music, and noises. These noises have become an integral part of our lives. We are so used to hearing them that we do not even recognize that they are present in the surroundings. Have you ever felt quiet when there is a power cut? It is because all of the noises suddenly stopped. Noise is mostly characterized by chaos or mixing of many sounds at a time. But there are types of noises which help us in our life. These specific types of noises can help us in our academics, cognitive functioning, problem-solving skills, etc.

Types of Noises:

There are many types of noises like pink noise, white noise, brown noise, etc. These noises may help us in several activities. Let us see the types elaboratively:

1. Pink Noise: It is a constant background sound that helps you to focus or concentrate. It helps you draw out all the sounds which can possibly distract you like the chattering of people. It is also categorized as ambient noise. Alos, It has a lower pitch than white noise. It utilizes a consistent or constant frequency which creates a flat, even sound. It helps you to relax and helps you to hear low-frequency sounds.

2. White noise: It is one of the most popular types of noise of all. White noise contains all the frequencies which are present in the spectrum of sounds that can be heard by humans equally. It is often known as broadband noise. With the help of all frequencies, it makes a mixture of all sounds which creates a sound similar to static. It may be very intense and high-pitched. According to studies, white noise helps improve sleep, enhances work performance, reduces babies’ crying, and helps lower ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) symptoms.

3. Brown noise: It is characterized by a rumbling sound. It has a deeper bass-like tone as compared to pink and white noise. It is also known as red noise. This sound has decreased level of sound which is why the frequency goes higher when compared to pink noise. As per some studies, it may help in lowering the symptoms of ringing ears and improve thinking skills (Robinson, 2020).

There are also noises associated with other colors like blue noise, violet noise, grey noise, etc.

1. Blue noise: It is a little bit unpleasant and high noise as compared to pink and white noise. The power of this noise increases as the frequency increases.

2. Violet noise: It is the opposite of the brown noise. It is also known as the purple noise. Its volume increases with frequency. It achieves higher power quickly than blue noise and is high-pitched noise. It is used mostly to treat tinnitus which is the loud ringing of ears.

3. Grey noise: It generates noise with both higher and lower frequencies except for middle frequencies. It is very similar to white noise, the only difference is grey noise is more balanced than white noise (Robinson, 2020).

ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity Disorder)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder known for its short form as ADHD, is one of the most common disorders found in children and adolescents. It is a neurobehavioral disorder. It is chronic in nature and has prominent symptoms with the impairment increasing in adulthood (Wilens & Spencer, 2010).

As per studies, the statistical data suggests that 4% – 12% of school-aged children suffer from ADHD all over the world. And the data derived with the help of epidemiology shows that approximately 4% – 5% of college students with adults suffer from ADHD. Males and females have equal chances of being diagnosed with the disorder (Wilens & Spencer, 2010).

Cognitive Performance and ADHD

Noise is considered a detrimental factor to the cognitive performance of an individual. But in the case of patients with ADHD, it gives different results (Söderlund et al., 2007) but, as per a study, noise had a positive effect on the ADHD patient’s cognitive performance. The results showed that patients diagnosed with ADHD require more noise to function on optimal cognitive performance.

In the study, the participants carried out an SPT (Self – performed mini task) for measuring memory performance on a high level with a verbal task (VT) for measuring memory performance on a low level. The participants were divided into groups and the tasks were carried out in the presence or absence of the white noise. The phenomenon of stochastic resonance explains the positive effect of white noise (Söderlund et al., 2007).

According to the MBA model, our neural system generates an internal noise through the perceptual system when an environmental noise is received and the internal noise helps the stochastic resonance in the neurotransmitter which helps in the cognitive performance. Dopamine levels are linked with these stochastic resonance peaks. This is why more noise is required by the ADHD participants i.e., low levels of dopamine for optimal cognitive performance (Söderlund et al., 2007).

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