When sound becomes noise – a research perspective
To perceive and produce sound is a magnificent capability that greatly facilitates and enriches human functioning. Sound, however, can quite easily turn into noise, or the other way around, a transition highly dependent on specific interaction between acoustical features, exposure context, and listener’s characteristics. Moreover, « noise » covers very diverse research areas, such as noise-induced hearing loss in industry and music, environmental noise, effects of noise on cognition and attention, as well as subpopulations who are particularly sensitive to sound and noise, including people with neuropsychiatric disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.
In this talk, a framework for noise research will be presented and illustrated. The key elements of envisaged noise research are (1) focusing on domain-independent research techniques, (2) incorporating real-life complexity in ecologically valid approaches, (3) combining behavioral assessment, neuroaudiological physiological testing and self-report into truly interdisciplinary research, and (4) incorporating biomonitoring techniques to move beyond strict laboratory and clinical conditions.
Starting from four key research principles, the aim is to advance further in fundamental knowledge of the effects of noise exposure on human health, functioning, and well-being.
Annelies Bockstael is an assistant professor at the École d’orthophonie et audiologie (Université de Montréal).
Her main research interest is how noise exposure affects in real-life health, functioning and well-being. She studies this in four different domains: noise-induced hearing loss, environmental noise exposure, the effect of noise on cognition and attention, and particular subgroups who are particularly sensitive to sound and noise, including people with neuropsychiatric disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. This includes the assessment of various physiological measurement techniques, such as oto-acoustic emissions (OAE, assessing inner ear functioning) and electro-encephalography (EEG).
Dr Bockstael has over 30 scientific journal publications, and more than 25 contributions to conferences. She has received from Ghent University the Helmont price of Logopaedic and Audiological Sciences in 2013, the Young scientist award (InterNoise 2013) and the best students paper award at Euronoise 2009. She is also member of the CEN standards’ working group, am peer-reviewer of various journals in the broad field of acoustics, and has been session chair at two conferences.
Together with her scientific work, she is an enthusiastic teacher of various courses in audiology and acoustics, and supervises yearly several master projects, in audiology as well as engineering.