Annoyance, perception, and physiological effects of wind turbine infrasound

Panu P. Maijala, Ilmari Kurki, Lari Vainio, Satu Pakarinen, Crista Kuuramo, Kristian Lukander, Jussi Virkkala, Kaisa Tiippana, Emma A. Stickler, Markku Sainio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Even though some individuals subjectively associate various symptoms with infrasound, there are very few systematic studies on the contribution of infrasound to the perception, annoyance, and physiological reactions elicited by wind turbine sound. In this study, sound samples were selected among long-term measurement data from wind power plant and residential areas, both indoors and outdoors, and used in laboratory experiments. In the experiments, the detectability and annoyance of both inaudible and audible characteristics of wind turbine noise were determined, as well as autonomic nervous system responses: heart rate, heart rate variability, and skin conductance response. The participants were divided into two groups based on whether they reported experiencing wind turbine infrasound related symptoms or not. The participants did not detect infrasonic contents of wind turbine noise. The presence of infrasound had no influence on the reported annoyance nor the measured autonomic nervous system responses. No differences were observed between the two groups. These findings suggest that the levels of infrasound in the current study did not affect perception and annoyance or autonomic nervous system responses, even though the experimental conditions corresponded acoustically to real wind power plant areas.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)2238-2248
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 515 Psychology
  • 6162 Cognitive science

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