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Deep Dive 1998: Neuropsychological Findings
Technical rept. May-Jul 1998
NAVY EXPERIMENTAL DIVING UNIT PANAMA CITY FL
Pagination or Media Count:
Neuropsychological assessments were conducted during the 1995 1,000 feet of seawater few dive at the Navy Experimental Diving Unit. Both traditional pencil-and-paper tests and a computerized battery, the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics ANAM, were used during the dive. The assessments were administered at the following depths in sequence surface, 500 few, 1,000 few, 650 fsw, 200 few, and again on the surface. Sample day-related performance decrements were noted during compression and at storage depth in Trails A traditional battery and Matching-to-Sample computerized battery. Attenuation of these performance decrements occurred with decompression. Traditional batteries were designed to detect gross decrements to cognitive functioning associated with Situations such as blunt forehead trauma. Traditional tests function very well in that scenario, but in the diving scenario, they appear to lack the precision to detect more subtle cognitive performance decrements. The answer is to automate the process thus factoring out the human component in data collection and recording. The more times a human has to handle the data, the greater the chance for error. Two distinctive advantages for using the computer platform and removing the human tester from the process are a more controlled testing environment and more precise measurements. In this study, some of the variables present when the traditional battery was administered were possible decrements with the tester, improperly functioning test equipment the stopwatch, and the complications due to helium speech. All these variable were controlled with the ANAM. The ANAM also proved more beneficial than the traditional battery by automating the data collection, data analysis, and data storage processes, thus providing a near real-time picture of a divers neurocognitive health.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE