Effects of Intermittent Stimuli on Marksmanship and Vigilance During Simulated Sentry Duty
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA MILITARY PERFORMANCEDIV
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The purpose of the present study was to determine if the administration of low-level sensory stimuli odor or vibration enhances a soldiers speed and ability to detect targets, discriminate friend from foe and accurately shoot at enemy targets during 3 hours of simulated sentry duty. Conditions whereby either the sentry or the experimenter controlled the delivery of the sensory stimuli were evaluated. The odor or vibration was administered intermittently according to one of 3 administration schedules experimenter-administered, self-administered or stimulus-unavailable. Each subject n11 participated in 6 test sessions a tactile stimulusexperimenter-administered, b tactile stimulusself-administered, c tactile controlno administration of tactile stimulus, d olfactory stimulusexperimenter-administered, e olfactory stimulusself-administered and f olfactory controlno administration of olfactory stimulus. During each test session, measures of target detection frequency, target detection latency, friend-foe discrimination and rifle firing accuracy were measured and averaged every 30 minutes for analysis. Additionally, all subjects wore an activity monitor to measure motor movement during each test session. Subjective measures of performance were collected at the end of each test session. For all test conditions and session time periods, target detection frequency did not differ and there were no significant differences of friend-foe discrimination. Further, the periodic administration of a low-level odor stimulus did not enhance a soldiers latency to detect targets. However, administration of a tactile stimulus did attenuate the decrement in detection times found in both odor conditions and in both control conditions. For all test conditions, restlessness as measured by motor activity increased significantly by one hour into the session and remained elevated for the rest of the session.
- Stress Physiology
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations