NAVAL MEDICAL RESEARCH UNIT (DAYTON) WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB
Sleep deprivation uniquely affects individuals, with some displaying more resistant tendencies than others, demonstrating the need for countermeasures for fatigue-vulnerable individuals. The present study examined whether 200mg modafinil affects the performance of fatigue-vulnerable differently than fatigue-resistant individuals. Using a 3-way, placebo-controlled, mixed-model design, 22 individuals completed various cognitive tasks and self-report questionnaires over 36 hours of continuous wakefulness. Results demonstrated that performance of fatigue-vulnerable individuals was significantly improved by modafinil administration fatigue-resistant individuals did not receive a similar boost. The improvements were task dependent, with some tasks showing marked effects while others showing little to no effects. Subjective assessments demonstrated that modafinil did not affect fatigue-vulnerable individuals differently from fatigue-resistant individuals. Pursuing differentiation of those who benefit most from modafinil allows for more precise resource allocation by tailoring fatigue-countermeasures by need. Improvements in performance for fatigue-vulnerable individuals equates to fewer errors in tactical settings and improved wartime outcomes.