Poster #: 47
Topic: Diagnostics and inter-individual differences
Thursday, Sep 10, 2015
Impaired auditory discrimination of sound quality in noise sensitive individuals
1Cognitive Brain Research Unit (CBRU), Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
2Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
3Hjelt Institute, Department of Public Health, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
Individuals vary in their reactivity to sounds. Noise sensitivity has been isolated to describe the individual physiological and emotional reactivity to noise. Noise sensitive individuals (amounting to about 20-40% of the population) show a predisposition to attend to sounds and perceive them negatively. The neural correlates of noise sensitivity are yet to be determined. Here we measured with magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography (MEEG) 71 healthy adults without any peripheral hearing impairments (age range 19-51 years) while they were presented with the musical multifeature paradigm, eliciting six mismatch negativity (MMN) responses to sound feature changes inserted in a music-like environment. By combining MMN parameters with noise sensitivity scores assessed by a questionnaire, we studied the effects of noise sensitivity on neural discrimination abilities. Noise sensitivity selectively affected the MMN strength to timbre changes (but not to pitch, slide, intensity, location or rhythm changes), with weaker MMN responses to timbre deviants in individuals with high noise-sensitivity scores than those with low scores. These results encourage to examining idiosyncrasies of central auditory processing and discrimination in noise sensitive individuals.