The Impact of Task Length on Multi-Attribute Task Battery Performance During Sleep Deprivation
ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL
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Several factors affect the sensitivity to sleep deprivation when taking computerized tests. Two of these are task complexity and duration. Complexity can improve sensitivity by increasing the demands required to complete the task, but it can also decrease sensitivity by improving the subjects motivation. The effects of task duration are more predictable in that longer tests generally are more susceptible to deprivation effects than shorter ones. The impact of test duration on an interesting, but complex aviation simulation was examined here. By breaking down data from 30-minute MATB administrations into the first, second, and third 10-minutes of performance, it was shown that tests shorter than 30 minutes underestimate the impact of sleep loss on performance. This was especially evident in measures of time-out and tracking errors.
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