Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction


Date of this Version



Hathaway, A., C. Ainley, and L. M. Wang. (2013) “Effects of background noise alternating between two levels at varying time intervals on human perception and performance.” 21st International Congress on Acoustics; Montreal, Canada; June 2-7, 2013.

Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, Vol. 19, 040121 (2013); DOI: 10.1121/1.4800421


© 2013 Acoustical Society of America


This research experiment aims to better quantify human perception and performance under increased background noise levels of varying intervals. Twenty-seven participants were tested over five 30 minute sessions where they were subjected to RC-29(H) and RC-47(RV) conditions created by broadband noise fluctuating on different time intervals. These intervals varied from two minutes to ten minutes, simulating the conditions of a noisy HVAC system turning on and off. The performance results of an arithmetic test dealing with short-term memory and a subjective questionnaire will be presented and compared to a similar test using broadband noise bursts and correlated to noise metrics such as perceived level (PL) and L1-L99. [Work supported by a NASA Nebraska Space Grant.]