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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 293;

Restorative Effects of Classroom Soundscapes on Children’s Cognitive Performance

School of Architecture, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 13 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Previous studies have examined the restorative benefits of soundscapes on adults’ cognitive performance, but it was unclear whether those benefits would be possible for children. In this paper, two experiments applied a before–after design to explore the restorative effects of different soundscapes on children’s sustained attention and short-term memory, respectively, in a simulated classroom situation. In Experiment 1, 46 children aged 8–12 were first mentally fatigued by performing an oral arithmetic task and then were asked to conduct a sustained attention to response test (SART), in order to assess their attention fatigue. After that, a period of 3-min soundscape was presented, and SART was conducted again to examine their attention recovery. In Experiment 2, 45 children participated and the experiment procedure was the same as in Experiment 1, except that a digit span test (DST) was used instead to measure short-term memory. The results showed that music, birdsong, fountain sound, and stream sound facilitated greater recovery than other sounds in reaction time. Participants also showed better performance in short-term memory after exposure to fountain sound and stream sound, followed by music and birdsong. Those results confirmed the actual restorative effects of perceived restorative soundscapes on children’s cognitive performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: restorative effect; children’s cognitive performance; classroom soundscape; sustained attention; short-term memory restorative effect; children’s cognitive performance; classroom soundscape; sustained attention; short-term memory

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Shu, S.; Ma, H. Restorative Effects of Classroom Soundscapes on Children’s Cognitive Performance. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 293.

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