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Characterizing Soldier Responses to Irritant Gases

Descriptive Note:

Final rept. Aug 1989-Feb 1990

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The purpose of this project was to develop a quantitative definition of soldier performance degradation due to exposure to irritant gases by two linking approaches Surrogate Measures and Dose Equivalence. Surrogate measures are related to, or predictive of, a construct of interest but are not direct measures. Dose equivalence refers to an experimental method where performance deficits produced with a controlled and relatively benign indexing agent, in this case alcohol, are first calibrated against that agent. Then decrements in performance in the presence of irritant gases can be calibrated in terms of their dose equivalence relative to the effects of alcohol. To quantify the human mental acuity functions which are related to military jobs, a portable microcomputer menu of tests, the Automated Performance Test System APTS, was employed. Two primary tasks were performed 1 description of the relation between the APTS battery and the ASVAB, an instrument known to be predictive of military job performance, and 2 collection and analysis of alcohol dose equivalency data under tightly controlled experimental conditions. Based on task outcomes, regression equations were created to 1 translate reductions in APTS performance due to treatment such as a mixed gas, into ASVAB equivalent performances, and 2 translate reductions in performance due to a treatment such as an irritant gas into units of percent blood alcohol. Keywords Irritant gas performance Behavioral toxicology Computerized test battery Performance testing Environmental stress.

Subject Categories:

  • Stress Physiology
  • Toxicology
  • Air Pollution and Control

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