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Effects of the Newborn ICU on Auditory Attention and Distraction
Clinics in Perinatology (2004)
  • L Gray, James Madison University
  • M K Philbin
A theory is proposed that attention to acoustic signals is important for normal development and varies with background masking sounds. Specifically, the theory states that distractibility increases with decreasing predictability of the acoustic environment and with decreasing age. Literature from premature neonates, normal infants, preadolescent children, children with attention deficit disorders, and adults is reviewed. One conclusion is that an environment perceived by adults as predictable may be distracting for preterm infants. One recommendation for future research is to include measures of background acoustic predictability as independent variables or covariates in developmental studies.
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Citation Information
Gray, L. & Philbin, M.K. Effects of the Newborn ICU on Auditory Attention and Distraction. Clinics in Perinatology 31:243-260, 2004.