INTERACTION OF NOISE WITH ALCOHOL ON A TASK OF SUSTAINED ATTENTION

18 subjects carried out a 30 min 5-choice serial response test 6 times under all possible combinations of alcohol (at zero, 'low' and 'high' concentrations in the bloodstream) with quiet (70 dB) and continuous 'white' noise (100 dB) conditions. Speed of responding was significantly decreased by noise, but not by alcohol; there was no interaction between the two stressors in this aspect of performance. However, a clear interaction was observed in accuracy, the error rate increasing with alcohol under quiet conditions, and decreasing under noise conditions, in such a way that the separate effects of the two stressors were effectively cancelled out when administered in combination. The results are interpreted as supporting the view that noise functions as an 'arouser' and that alcohol, in its physiological role as a cortical depressant, acts in the opposite direction. /HSRI/

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Purdue University/Indiana Department of Transportation JHRP

    Purdue University, School of Civil Engineering
    West Lafayette, IN  USA  47907-1284
  • Authors:
    • Colquhaun, W P
    • Edwards, R S
  • Publication Date: 1975-1

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00096070
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Highway Safety Research Institute
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 2 1975 12:00AM