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The Effects of Modafinil and Ove-the-Counter Stimulants on Two- and Three- Dimensional Visual Localization

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Technical Report,01 Jun 2012,31 May 2015

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USAFSAM/FHOH Wright-Patterson AFB United States

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Aerial refueling operators in the next generation of tankers e.g., Boeing KC-46 for the U.S. Air Force, Airbus KC-30 for the Royal Australian Air Force, Boeing KC-10 for the Royal Netherlands Air Force, and KC-767 for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force will use remote vision system technology and stereo displays in place of direct view crew stations. Thus, the effects of factors such as fatigue on performance with the use of this relatively new technology are of interest. In this study, we measure performance on a stereoscopic depth perception task to examine how fatigue due to sleep deprivation affects stereo depth performance. The results show that fatigue has a strong influence on stereo depth localization when pharmaceutical countermeasures are not used. The magnitude of the performance loss is nearly equivalent to that measured using the psychomotor vigilance test, which is the gold standard of fatigue metrics due to its high sensitivity. Because boom operators in the next generation of remote vision system aerial refueling tankers use stereo cues to perform their task, additional research concerning the effects of fatigue and fatigue countermeasures should be undertaken to better understand the potential safety risks and to develop methods to counter those risks.

Subject Categories:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Psychology

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