Reaction specialities in the monotony state and during the extreme situation: gender differences
Federal State Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology of RAS, Moscow, Russia; firstname.lastname@example.org
The functional state of human-operators in the modern life is very important, because the life and the health of others often depend on it. Behavioral performance gradually declines when operators perform monotonous task – vigilance, alertness and reaction rate are decreased, hence the monotony is very dangerous state, which can lead to crashes. There is especially critical for drivers to consider this fact, because states of reduced vigilance, e.g., due to long and monotonous drives, are a main cause of traffic accidents.
Another important issue is the emergency situation appearance during monotonous driving because such situation often occurs on the road, when in the prolonged monotonous driving a danger suddenly appears (for example, another car tumbles). The aim of this study is to reveal a set of psychological and physiological sensors to detect monotony symptoms and to test it when the emergency situation appears.
Twenty volunteers (10 male, 10 female) were recruited in the study to work at the driver simulator during 1.5 hour. Two series of the experiments were conducted: the first was with monotonous driving only; the second involved the emergency situation appearance after 1 hour monotonous driving. The emergency situation consists in driving acceleration and increase of banking.
To estimate the volunteer functional state we conducted EEG-recording with eyes closed and eyes opened, ECG-recording, psychological tests (health, activity, mood and anxiety definition) and complicated visual-motoric test before and after driver simulator work.
“Before” and “after” results were compared by such nonparametric statistical methods as Mann-Whitney criterion.
Monotonous task performance has led to the decline of the visual-motor response and performance quality, the activity decreasing and the slow rhythms increasing for women. Men’s reaction rates has hadn’t changes, however, the exertion on the cardiovascular have increased.
The emergency situation had a greater effect for men than for women: the power of slow rhythms (delta and theta) has increased and the power of the alpha rhythm has decreased in men, performance quality and visual-motoric reaction has declined. Men’s exertion index of cardiovascular system was higher than that of women.