EFFECTS OF SIGNAL PATTERNING UPON VIGILANCE PERFORMANCE AND PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES
NAVAL TRAINING DEVICE CENTER PORT WASHINGTON NY
Pagination or Media Count:
The purpose of the investigation was twofold 1 to determine the effect of signal patterning upon physiological responses and time to detect signals 2 to study performance of subjects Ss, with and without patterning, under conditions in which they were either informed or uninformed about the signal patterning. Vigilance performance and physiological responses with variable interval VI and fixed interval FI signal patterns were studied in four groups of Ss. Three of the four groups were required to make responses telegraph key presses in order to detect signals. Reaction time RT was used as the performance measure while heart rate HR, palmar skin conductance PSC and galvanic skin responses GSRs were the physiological measures. Each S was tested in two separate one hour sessions on each of two days. The results indicated that there was a tendency for RTs to be faster under the FI schedule of signals than with the VI. The HR and PSC measures showed higher variability with the VI schedule while GSRs were more variable under the FI schedule. Faster RTs tended to be related to higher levels of HR, PSC and GSRs. It was suggested that 1 faster RTs under the FI schedule reflected greater learning of the regular signal pattern 2 faster RTs with higher degrees of physiological activation were due to greater numbers of sensory impulses which traveled cortically and had effect of improving alertness and readiness to respond. Several implications of these results for training are discussed.