Evoked response of heart rate variability using short-duration white noise

Guo She Lee*, Mei Ling Chen, Gin You Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


To investigate and to establish a model for evaluation of the instant cardiovascular responses to the noises of low-to-moderate intensity, sixteen healthy subjects were enrolled. The white noises were binaurally presented with a supra-aural earphone. The test intensities of noises were no noise, 50, 60, 70 and 80 dBA. Each noise was continued for 5 min and the electrocardiogram was simultaneously recorded. The cardiac autonomic responses were evaluated using power spectral analysis of the R-R contour obtained from digital signal processing of the ECG tracings. The result showed that the mean heart rate and mean blood pressure did not change significantly with the noises. However, the low-frequency power (LF) which represents cardiac autonomic modulations and the ratio (LHR) of LF to high-frequency power (HF) which reflects cardiac sympathetic modulations were significantly greater in the noise intensity of 50, 60, 70 and 80 dBA (p < 0.01, repeated measures ANOVA). In addition, the LHR was significantly correlated with the noise intensity (rho = 0.90, p < 0.05, Spearman's correlation analysis). The instant autonomic responses to white noises can be detected using power spectral analysis of heart rate variability and the evoked responses may provide a sensitive way to evaluate the instant effect of noise to humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-97
Number of pages4
JournalAutonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 24 Jun 2010


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Heart rate variability
  • Noise
  • Sympathetic


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