Degraded Voices Through Mobile Phones and Their Neural Effects: A Possible Risk of Using Mobile Phones During Driving

This study examines if voices through mobile phones were degraded more seriously in a moving car than in a parked car, and if so, how such degradations would burden the listener's brain. The authors first studied qualities of voices transmitted from a mobile phone in a building to another in the same building or in a car. The voices were found to be often degraded and the degradations were classified in one of the three types: delay of transmission, spectral distraction (distractions in the spectral structure of the voices) and silent interruptions. The interruptions occurred more frequently and longer if the car with the phone for receiving was moving than at rest. Secondly, brain responses to the interruptions were measured with magnetoencephalography. Findings showed that the cortex was bilaterally activated both at starts and ends of the interruptions. A previous study had shown that these activities are reduced to sources in the brain for auditory perception and auditory attention. The overall findings indicate that if a driver is listening to voices through a mobile phone while driving, his resources for auditory perception and auditory attention should already be used even if voices through the phones are not degraded. These resources are further taxed when the voices through the mobile phone are degraded, which implies further risks of using mobile phones while driving.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01003389
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 27 2005 6:15PM