ADRENALIN, NORADRENALIN AND PERFORMANCE IN A VISUAL VIGILANCE TASK
HUMAN FACTORS RESEARCH INC LOS ANGELES CA LOS ANGELES
Pagination or Media Count:
An experiment was undertaken to determine the relationship between signal detection performance and plasma concentrations of adrenalin and noradrenalin in adult male observers undertaking a visual vigilance task. Signal difficulty level was equated for each observer in a preliminary experiment and each individual was then classified as either a decrementing or non-decrementing observer on the basis of his performance on a conventional visual vigilance task. In the subsequent experiment, six decrementing and three non-decrementing observers undertook a conventional visual vigilance task. Seven other decrementing observers served as controls and viewed movies under otherwise identical conditions. Blood samples were drawn from the observers periodically during the vigilance task and these analyzed fluorometrically for adrenalin and noradrenalin. It was concluded that the level of circulating adrenalin declines in decrementing observers during a conventional vigilance task in a manner positively related to their performance on the task. The data also suggest that the amount of circulating adrenalin is differentially affected in decrementing and non-decrementing observers. No conclusions were reached regarding the observers noradrenalin production during the vigilance task. Remarkable elevations of some observers noradrenalin levels were seen in both experimental and control conditions, but this finding was not consistent throughout the group.