STUDIES OF THE PERFORMANCE CAPABILITIES OF DIVERS: THE EFFECTS OF COLD.
DUNLAP AND ASSOCIATES INC DARIEN CONN
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The study examines the performance capabilities of divers. Trials were conducted at various water temperatures to assess the effects of cold. Dry land trials provided control performance scores. The capabilities tested were tactile sensitivity, manual dexterity, manual movement, reasoningarithmetic, problem solving, memory, and a multi-task capability requiring simultaneous manual tracking and attention to an audio channel. The data indicates that diving in warm water causes loss in motor functions due, it is thought, to the changes and hindrances experienced in the diving condition. Diving in cold water increases the motor loss and causes distraction and disruption in mental tasks blocking in attention and lowered memory capability were found. Impairment of performance on the multi-task was considerable. It is hypothesized that cold water stress, in addition to causing specific sensory and motor losses, causes increasing losses of capability as the task becomes more complex and is more dependent on sustained attention and memory functions. Author
- Stress Physiology