Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How Sound Impacts Humans

TED is a website that presents fascinating short talks by experts on many different topics. I like to go there and browse around and see what interesting ideas come up, as well as to look for presentations on topics I’m especially interested in.
Julian Treasure, who advises businesses on how sound effects people, gives a brief but interesting discussion on the Four Ways Sound Affects Us. Treasure discusses and illustrates how sound impacts our physiology, psychology, cognition and behavior. This is true for all of us, but the impact of sound is even more intense for those on the spectrum, where sensory issues are so much more common. Treasure talks about how the noise level in open plan offices is so distracting that productivity drops tremendously. Not surprising for anyone who spends time in an office cubicle!
I know that sound impacts mood, and I often work with clients on identifying calming sounds. Treasure’s suggestion of listening to bird song is an interesting idea that I’ll have to try out, both for myself and for clients.