The effects of signal salience and caffeine on performance, workload, and stress in an abbreviated vigilance task

J. G. Temple, J. S. Warm, W. N. Dember, K. S. Jones, C. M. LaGrange, G. Matthews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

166 Scopus citations

Abstract

In 2 experiments, a 12-min computerized vigilance task was demonstrated to reproduce the vigilance decrement, high workload (NASA-TLX), and stressful character (Dundee Stress State Questionnaire) of vigilance tasks lasting 30 min or more. In Experiment 1, the abbreviated task was also shown to duplicate the signal salience effect, a major finding associated with long-duration vigilance tasks. Moreover, Experiment 2 showed that performance on the abbreviated task can be enhanced by caffeine - A drug that benefits long-duration tasks. This enhancement effect was limited to performance, however, suggesting that caffeine influences factors that control signal detection but not those that control task-induced stress. The results parallel those obtained with long-duration tasks and support a resource-depletion model of the vigilance decrement. The abbreviated task might be useful in situations in which long-duration tasks are precluded (e.g., performance assessment batteries, neuropsychological testing, and brain imaging).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-194
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Factors
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

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