Effect of Heat and Chemical Protective Clothing on Cognitive Performance
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
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This study examined the effects of heat on the sustained cognitive performance of sedentary soldiers clad in chemical protective clothing, Twenty males trained for 2 weeks on selected military tasks. Then, they performed the tasks for 7-hour periods on 4 successive days in hot 32.8C.,61rh and normal 21.1C35rh conditions, with and without protective clothing. After 4-5 hours in the heat wearing protective clothing, the cognitive performance of the group began to deteriorate markedly. By the end of 7 hrs. of heat, increases in group error on investigator-paced tasks ranged from 17 to 235 over control conditions. Virtually all of the decrements were due to increases in errors of omission. The productivity of the group on a self-paced task map plotting diminished by approximately 40 from control conditions after 6 hrs. in the heat in protective clothing accuracy of plotting was not markedly affected.
- Protective Equipment