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Diagnostic Methods for Predicting Performance Impairment During a Sustained Attention Task (Letter Series)

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Annual rept. 1 Dec 2004-30 Nov 2005

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This report reviews the second year of research on the diagnostic utility of psychophysiological indices that may predict the current and future functional efficiency of the soldier. The research focuses especially on the measurement of cerebral blood flow using transcranial Doppler sonography TCD, together with additional indices including salivary cortisol and subjective state. Research at the University of Cincinnati has demonstrated that cerebral blood flow covaries with performance efficiency on a vigilance task and that phasic blood flow responses generated by a battery of short high-workload tasks can be used to predict future vigilance performance, particularly among observers who rate the workload of the vigilance task as low. In addition, these studies also demonstrated that high task-engagement in working with the short battery was predictive of superior vigilance performance, as were high task-focused coping and low avoidance coping strategies, and they verified the utility of TOD in monitoring performance in auditory as well as in visual sustained attention tasks. Research at Georgia State University, employing a simulated sentry task called Watchkeeper, confirmed that cerebral blood flow covaries with performance efficiency on a sustained attention task and supported the utility of using TOD to predict the quality of sustained attention.

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  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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