Atropine, Stress and Human Performance.
Annual Rept. 30 Sep 83-29 Sep 84,
OKLAHOMA UNIV HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER OKLAHOMA CITY
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These experiments examined atropine dose-related effects 0.5, 1.0, and 2.0 mg alone and atropine pulse predose exercise effects on physiology, cognitive performance and self-reports in 12 healthy young men. Recent studies suggest that tasks that load perceptual processes may be more sensitive to atropine than tasks that load motor functions. Work with rodents suggested that prior exercise might potentiate the effects of atropine in man. Atropine had biphasic dose-related effects on heart rated, showing bradycardia at 0.5 mg and tachycardia at higher doses. Exercise reversed the low-dose bradycardia and potentiated the high-dose tachycardia, findings that favor Carneys hypothesis. At the 2.0 mg dose, atropine increased pupillary diameter, but exercise had no effect. Atropine impaired signal detection in an aircraft recognition task increased trial-to-trial variability in a visual choice reaction time task and, at 2.0 mg dose, increased error in a two-dimensional compensatory tracking task. atropine did not affect performance on mental arithemitic. In the second experiment, exercise has no main effect on any of these tasks. However, in this experiment only, atropine impaired accuracy and increased variability in an interval estimation task. Keywords Atropine dose effects, Exercise, Information processing, Human performance, Heart rate, Pupil Size, Stress.