The Use of Electrophysiological and Cognitive Variables in the Assessment of Degradation During Periods of Sustained Wakefulness
ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL
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Army aviation personnel often encounter work schedules which require the transition from daytime to nighttime duty hours without the benefit of an adaptation period. Rotations from daytime and nighttime duty hours, particularly those that occur within a 24-hour period, usually result in loss of sleep, fatigue, and cognitive degradation Comperatore and Krueger, 1990. Strategies in the scheduling of sleep, meals, work, and exercise are currently under study with the purpose of identifying patterns that assist in the physiological adaptation to nighttime duty hours. These coping strategies are composed of countermeasures designed to prevent the sleep loss and chronic fatigue usually associated with rapid transitions from daytime to nighttime duty hours. The study of shiftwork coping strategies requires the empirical characterization of effective countermeasures which prevent chronic fatigue and preserve normal cognitive function. In the laboratory, the study of variables such as alertness, sensory processing, reaction time, and cognitive processing assessment approach requires the use of multidesciplinary test batteries that not only challenge cognitive processes, but also document the functional status of brain regions associated with sensory processing and alertness.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Stress Physiology