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Proceedings Paper

Automated ambulatory assessment of cognitive performance, environmental conditions, and motor activity during military operations
Author(s): Harris R. Lieberman; F. Matthew Kramer; Scott J. Montain; Philip Niro; Andrew J. Young
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Paper Abstract

Until recently scientists had limited opportunities to study human cognitive performance in non-laboratory, fully ambulatory situations. Recently, advances in technology have made it possible to extend behavioral assessment to the field environment. One of the first devices to measure human behavior in the field was the wrist-worn actigraph. This device, now widely employed, can acquire minute-by-minute information on an individual’s level of motor activity. Actigraphs can, with reasonable accuracy, distinguish sleep from waking, the most critical and basic aspect of human behavior. However, rapid technologic advances have provided the opportunity to collect much more information from fully ambulatory humans. Our laboratory has developed a series of wrist-worn devices, which are not much larger then a watch, which can assess simple and choice reaction time, vigilance and memory. In addition, the devices can concurrently assess motor activity with much greater temporal resolution then the standard actigraph. Furthermore, they continuously monitor multiple environmental variables including temperature, humidity, sound and light. We have employed these monitors during training and simulated military operations to collect information that would typically be unavailable under such circumstances. In this paper we will describe various versions of the vigilance monitor and how each successive version extended the capabilities of the device. Samples of data from several studies are presented, included studies conducted in harsh field environments during simulated infantry assaults, a Marine Corps Officer training course and mechanized infantry (Stryker) operations. The monitors have been useful for documenting environmental conditions experienced by wearers, studying patterns of sleep and activity and examining the effects of nutritional manipulations on warfighter performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 May 2005
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5797, Biomonitoring for Physiological and Cognitive Performance during Military Operations, (23 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.601927
Show Author Affiliations
Harris R. Lieberman, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (United States)
F. Matthew Kramer, Natick Research Development and Engineering Ctr. (United States)
Scott J. Montain, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (United States)
Philip Niro, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (United States)
Andrew J. Young, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5797:
Biomonitoring for Physiological and Cognitive Performance during Military Operations
John A. Caldwell; Nancy Jo Wesensten, Editor(s)

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