Accession Number:

AD0650671

Title:

EFFECT OF ISOLATION IN A CONSTANT ENVIRONMENT ON PERIODICITY OF PHYSIOLOGICAL FUNCTIONS AND PERFORMANCE

Descriptive Note:

Joint rept.

Corporate Author:

NAVAL SUBMARINE MEDICAL CENTER GROTON CT

Report Date:

1967-02-03

Pagination or Media Count:

60.0

Abstract:

In an effort to determine the extent to which the daynight cycles of physiological and psychological functions normally synchronized with the environment in 24-hour cycles might change in isolation in an environment where there were no external clues, two medical students were studied. These subjects were isolated for nine days in a constant environment, in which temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, light intensity, and noise levels were closely controlled. In brief, the findings showed that they experienced a shift of 1.7 hours away from local clock time. Their average total periodicity being 25.8 hours. The cycles of body temperature, pulse rate, and basal skin resistance followed the phaseshift of the sleep-wakefulness cycle, while the cycle of respiratory rate became dissociated in both subjects. Most of the urine functions remained synchronized for five days but dissociated from the sleep- wakefulness cycle during the subsequent three days of the isolation period. The two subjects were of different body build and demonstrated distinctly different personality trait configurations, which were reflected in their temporal organization. Twelve-hour and six-hour periodicities were shown by power spectral analysis to dominate temporarily the 24-hour periodicity cycle during the adjustment to and recovery from the effects of isolation, in heart-rate, body temperature, and basal skin resistance, and respiratory rate of both subjects. This temporary breakdown of the temporal organization might be involved in the subjectively experienced difficulties of adjustment to living in a constant environment.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Anatomy and Physiology

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE