THE INFLUENCE OF LOW FREQUENCY SOUND ON THE CHANGES OF EEG SIGNAL MORPHOLOGY

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1 Molecular and Quantum Acoustics vol. 28 (2007) 65 THE INFLUENCE OF LOW FREQUENCY SOUND ON THE CHANGES OF EEG SIGNAL MORPHOLOGY Zbigniew DAMIJAN, Jerzy WICIAK University of Science and Technology - AGH, Department of Mechanics and Vibroacoustics Al. Mickiewicza 30, Kraków, POLAND The effects of low frequency sound on the changes of morphology of the spectral power density function of EEG signals were studied as a part of the research program f=40 Hz, Lp = 110 db HP. The research program involved 33 experiments. A quantitative analysis was conducted of the driving response effect for the fundamental frequency and its harmonics to find the frequency of the driving response effect occurrence depending on the sex of participants. 1. INTRODUCTION Low-frequency noise (LFN) is a frequent source of annoyance at home and at work. Humans perceive low-frequency waves through the hearing organs and by vibration sensors distributed over the whole body [1,7]. Low-frequency noise is perceived as annoying when the acoustic pressure levels exceed the threshold of perception, affecting all internal organs in a human body. Extensive studies reveal negative impacts of low-frequency noise exposure on humans, of particular interest are auditory, resonance and psycho-physiological effects. One has to bear in mind, however, that there are major individual differences in the level of low-frequency sound perception. Some people appear exceptionally sensitive and low-frequency noise is perceived as particularly annoying [4-6]. This study is a continuation of earlier works by the authors [2,3]. The effects of low frequency sound on the changes of morphology of the spectral power density function of EEG signals were studied as a part of the research program. A quantitative analysis was conducted of the driving response effect for the fundamental frequency and its harmonics to find the frequency of the driving response effect occurrence depending on the sex of participants.

2 66 Damijan Z., Wiciak J. 2. EXPERIMENTAL SET-UP A detailed description of the experimental set-up and the test equipment (a pressure cabin, a signal generation circuit, circuits for measuring and analyzing the acoustic and bioelectric parameters) is provided elsewhere. In our case the experimental program involved 33 tests, each divided into three stages: control test, main test (preparatory and testing procedure) and the final procedure [3]. In the first stage the participants were informed about the purpose of the research programme and the experimental procedure and gave their written consent to participate. During that stage the participants were qualified for the test, the criterion being their health condition, established on the basis of the Health Questionnaire. Of major concern here were larynx and neurological diseases and traumas, head injuries or chronic illnesses. Those qualified for the experimental programme were in excellent health conditions. Besides, written psychological tests were administered (Eysenck s EPQ-R personality test to determine the participants temperament traits and the SSS-5 Zuckerman s questionnaire categorising people depending on the intensity of their sensation-seeking needs). The control tests being completed, the main test would begin. The first part involved the preparatory activities, the participants would take a written a psychological (Thayer) test aimed to establish their general condition (the activation level) prior to the test. Besides, the participants had their blood pressure taken and took a computer-assisted test to check their visual and motor coordination. After a thorough inspection of the measuring equipment, the electrodes used for measuring EEG, ECG and EDA signals were carefully placed on the participant s body. The participant would then take place inside the cabin, the resistance of electrodes connections was checked and the main test procedure would begin. Participants were exposed to low frequency sound of 40 Hz and the acoustic pressure level Lp = 110 db. During the main test the EEG, ECG and EDA recording circuits were on. The sound generation circuit was switched on and the acoustic pressure level inside the cabin (SPL) was monitored on an online basis. The whole experiment lasted 35 minutes. During the first five minutes (stage 1) and the final 10 minutes (stage 3) there was no infrasound exposure. At the instants the excitations were applied and switched off, the acoustic pressure level would be changed smoothly and continuously within 5 s, such that participants would not feel stressed (stage 2). During the final stage the participant left the cabin and the electrodes were removed. The participants had their blood pressure taken and pulse measured again, the Thayer test was administered and the computer-assisted visual-motional test was conducted.

3 Molecular and Quantum Acoustics vol. 28 (2007) ANALYSIS OF RESULTS Experimental data were analyzed by numerical methods. EEG signals were recorded and analyzed using the power spectral density function. Of particular interest was the fraction of the leading effect occurrence and that of the amplitude decrease of the power spectral density function of the EEG signal for the alpha rhythm. The analysis of the power spectral density function of EEG potentials yields: the fraction of the leading effect occurrence in the sample (when the brain functions at the frequency of the applied excitation), the fraction of the leading effect occurrence depending on the sex of participants. The leading effect consists in that the frequency spectrum of the EEG potential should contain a component equal to the frequency of the applied excitation or its harmonic. The leading effect occurrences were duly counted and the fraction value was computed accordingly. The leading effect is assumed to have occurred when it is registered by at least one EEG channel. In many cases the leading effect with the harmonic frequency was observed and this fact was duly commented on. Dependent variables in the statistical analysis are the power spectral density functions of EEG signals (registered were the occurrences of the fundamental frequency of the applied excitation or its harmonics in the power spectral density functions of EEG signals). Statistical analyses were performed to check whether those variables should follow the normal distribution (Kolmogorov Smirnov tests, Lilliefors test and Shapiro Wilk tests). Further tests were conducted to check if the registered differences between the dependent variables should follow the normal distribution. Besides, the basic descriptive statistics were formulated (table 1 and 2). Underlying the statistical analyses are the following zero hypotheses: 1) the number of registered occurrences of driving response effect for the fundamental EEG frequency equals the number of its occurrences for its harmonics; 2) frequency of the driving response effect occurrence under the infrasound exposure during the tests (P 40Hz, H 40 Hz) is not affected by the participant s sex. In order to verify the first hypothesis for the significance test Wilcoxon test for dependent groups was applied to analyse the remaining variables (which did not have a normal distribution). To verify the other hypothesis the U Mann Whitney test for independent groups was applied. In the tables below variables that do not follow the normal distribution or display statistical differences are marked in grey.

4 68 Damijan Z., Wiciak J. Table 1. Test results: (K-S) - Kołmogorov-Smirnov, (Lilief) - Lillieforsa and (S-W) - Shapiro-Wilk variable Test of normality (Driving response Differences) max D K S Lilief S W p P 40 Hz 0,524 p<0,01 p<0,01 0,366 0,00001 H 40 Hz 0,381 p<0,10 p<0,01 0,641 0,0001 Table 2. Basic statistics for dependent variables Descriptive statistics (Driving response Differences) variable Standard Standard Mean value Median Variance deviation error Skewness Kurtosis P 40 Hz 26,1 26,0 0,100 0,316 0,100 3,162 10,00 H 40 Hz 13,6 13,0 0,267 0,516 0,163 0,484 2,28 Table 3. Wilcoxon test of significance for variable that do not follow a normal distribution (p<0,05000) variable Wilcoxon test of pair sequencing (driving response difference) T Z p P 40 Hz & H 40 Hz 0,00 2,803 0, m e a n v a l u e m. v. ± s t a n d. e r r o r m. v. ± * s t a n d. e r r o r P H z H H z Fig. 1. Comparative analysis of significance of differences for the fundamental frequency 40 Hz and its harmonics.

5 Molecular and Quantum Acoustics vol. 28 (2007) 69 Table 4. Results of significance test (U Manna-Whitney test) for independent group of the fractions of the driving response effect occurrence in the power spectral density functions for EEG signals for 40 Hz, depending on sex variable P 40 Hz H 40 Hz Test U Manna Whitney test for independent group, depending on sex Rank sum sample sample size U Z p Z p male female size male female 427,5 133,5 88,5 0,789 0,431 1,109 0, ,0 141,0 96,0 2,224 0,628 0,561 0, , 1 1, 0 0, 9 0, 8 0, 7 0, 6 0, 5 0, 4 0, 7 0, 6 0, 5 0, 4 0, 3 0, 2 0, 1 0, 3 0, 2 m e a n v a l u e m. v. ± s t. e r r o r m. v. ± * s t. e r r o r 0 1 0, 0-0, 1 m e a n v a lu e m. v. ± s t. e r r o r m. v. ± * s t. e r r o r 0 1 a) b) Fig. 2. Variations of the driving response occurrence fraction in the spectral power density function of EEG signals for a) frequency P - 40Hz, b) frequency H 40Hz 4. CONCLUSIONS Experimental data and statistical analyses of the occurrences of the driving response effect in the morphology of the power spectral density function of the EEG signals at the fundamental frequency or its harmonics depending us to the following conclusions: - at the considered frequency 40 Hz the driving response effect occurs at the moment the exciting signal is applied. The dominating frequency of the brain activity is that of the exciting signal or its harmonic. In many cases the second harmonic was registered. The driving response effects ceases when the infrasound exposure is over, - a statistically significant decrease is obtained (probability level p = ): from ± for the fundamental frequency to ± 0.52 for the harmonic frequency. Accordingly to the driving response effect in the morphology of the power spectral density function of the EEG signals at the fundamental frequency or its harmonics depending on the participants sex, no statistically significant differences were found.

6 70 Damijan Z., Wiciak J. Further research work is merited, other frequencies and acoustic pressure levels ought to be considered in order to determine whether the fraction of the driving response effect occurrence could be treated as a reliable measure of infrasound annoyance. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The authors are grateful to Mariusz Grochala (V Clinical Army Hospital, Krakow, Poland) for their assistance and consultations at researchers. This study is a part of the research project 3T11E supported by the Ministry of Education and Science, Poland and by the Kościuszko Foundation, the American Centre for the Polish Culture and by the Alfred Jurzykowski Foundation. REFERENCES 1. N. Broner, Journal of Sound &Vibration 58, (1978). 2. Z. Damijan, J. Wiciak, Molecular and Quantum Acoustics 26, (2005). 3. C. Kasprzak, Z. Damijan, R. Panuszka, Polish Journal of Environmental Studies 13/Supplement III (2004). 4. U. Landström, S. Lindblom-Häggqvist, P. Löfstedt, P., Journal of Low Frequency Noise and Vibration 7, (1988). 5. H. Møller, Journal of Low Frequency Noise and Vibration 1, 1-17 (1984). 6. S. Yamada, et al., Journal of Low Frequency Noise and Vibration 5, (1986). 7. J. Iwaniec, Molecular and Quantum Acoustics 27, (2006). 8. J. Iwaniec, Molecular and Quantum Acoustics 27, (2006). 9. S. Yamada, et al., Journal of Low Frequency Noise and Vibration 19, (1991).

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