Listening to White Noise Improved Verbal Working Memory in Children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: A Pilot Study

I. Chen Chen*, Hsun Yu Chan, Keh Chung Lin, Yu Ting Huang, Pei Luen Tsai, Yen Ming Huang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Existing research demonstrates that children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) underperform in cognitive tasks involving working memory (WM) due to hypo-arousal, which has led to the development of arousal regulation models to determine proper levels of arousal and optimal cognitive outcomes. The present study focuses on investigating the effects of external auditory stimuli on verbal WM in children with ADHD. Thirteen children with ADHD (aged 6–10 years old) and thirteen age-and gender-matched children with typical development (TD) completed the verbal WM task when listening to no sound, white noise, or pleasant music. A two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to compare the verbal WM performance between groups in the three auditory conditions. Children with ADHD showed the best verbal WM performance when listening to white noise and the worst performance when listening to no sound. Yet, children with TD performed the best in the no-sound condition and the worst in the white noise condition. Our findings suggest auditory white noise is beneficial for ideal arousal regulation and cognitive performance involving verbal WM for children with ADHD and support the moderate brain arousal model. Providing external white noise is a non-invasive and cost-effective approach to improving verbal WM in children with ADHD in real-world contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7283
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume19
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jun 1

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • arousal
  • moderate brain arousal model
  • white noise
  • working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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