The aims of this study were to confirm the contribution of factors related to performance and to determine dose-effect relationships between noise levels and performance. Experiments including a choice reaction time task and a figure counting task demonstrated that noise at low or moderate levels could affect performance. It was also found that reaction times were shortest at 55 dB(A) and longest at 45 dB(A) and 75 dB(A). As regards the figure counting task, an inverse tendency was observed in the reaction time task. These results suggest a new model for a dose-effect relationship between noise (x) and performance (y) that yields a type of slow manifold (y = ( 1 3)x3- 4x). The model indicates that broadband noise above 55 dB(A) (x = -2) causes arousal and that broadband noise above 73 dB(A) (x = +2) causes over-arousal, implying that arousal can cause a rise or fall in performance depending upon the type of task in question. © 1991.
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