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Studies of Neural and Cognitive Function in Subjects Exposed to the Marine-Air Interface. Phase 1 and 2

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Final rept. 1 Aug 1988-31 Jul 1991

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In Phase I the effects of cold air c, water w, fatigue f, and exercise e on physiological and psychological performance, and the effectiveness of several techniques for the suppression of shivering were investigated in 15 male subjects. Cold exposure was determined to be the most significant factor in reducing performance, causing significant reductions p or 0.05 in skin and rectal temperatures, temperature perceptions, shooting performance, grip strength, and dexterity both alone or when combined with any or all other factors. Cognitive performance, however was highest in the cwef, control, and c conditions, with the overall scores in the cw, cwf and cwe conditions significantly lower than control and cwef. Shivering gradually increased throughout exposure in cold conditions but was delayed in conditions which included exercise. Rectal temperatures increased during exercise, but later fell to the same level as in the non-exercise conditions. After 2 hours of exposure 4 shiver-suppression techniques were applied voluntary relaxation R, breath holding B, mental arithmetic M, and warm water ingestion W. Shivering was significantly suppressed by R, B, and M.In Phase II analysis of evoked potentials and reaction times during central and peripheral cooling indicated that cooling methods have differing effects on physiological and physical function.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Stress Physiology

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