Impaired Auditory Sensory Gating: Effects of Long and Short Deployments on Army Combat Readiness
Annual rept. 17 Sep 2001-16 Sep 2002
COLORADO UNIV AT FITZSIMMONS AURORA HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER
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We will evaluate whether objective neurophysiological parameters brain wave recordings can measure the impact of long 90 days or greater and short 30-45 days deployments on soldiers and assess correlations with military biological and psychological measures of performance under stress. Many combat casualties in the Persian Gulf War were attributed to friendly fire. We hypothesize that this tragedy was not due to inadequate training, but transient breakdown of information processing, especially sensory gating, which begins during the stress of deployment. This study will evaluate 120 soldiers responsible for crew-served weapons or army aviation, divided into three groups long-deployers, short-deployers, and nondeployers with a non-invasive technique to assess brain neurophysiologyauditory sensory gating. The non-deployers, matched by age and military occupational specialty MOS, will serve as a comparison group for the deployers. P50 auditory sensory gating is a recently developed physiological measure of the brains availability to screen out distracting stimuli. It correlates with the ability to maintain sustained attention and to make accurate decisions. We hypothesize, based on recent neurobiological investigations, that P50 auditory sensory gating will be transiently impaired upon re-deployment when compared to pre-deployment measures. We will examine the association of brain wave changes with performance measures, especially Threat Test-Identify Friend or Foe Threat Test-IFF and performance on neuropsychological measures of information processing currently in use by the FAA CogScreen-AE. Biological measures of stress will include plasma-free catecholamines, heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate. We will also assess associated anxiety and stress on a validated self-report scale SCL-90-R.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Medicine and Medical Research