Navigation Links
Is multitasking mastery in the genes?
Date:1/7/2014

Human factors/ergonomics researchers have long studied the connection between cognitive function and the ability to perform well on multiple simultaneous tasks, and recently a group of neuroergonomics researchers went a step further to examine a genetic link to multitasking ability. Neuroergonomics is the study of the brain in relation to performance.

In their Human Factors paper, "Interactive Effects of the COMT Gene and Training on Individual Differences in Supervisory Control of Unmanned Vehicles," Parasuraman and colleagues hypothesized that individuals with the Met/Met genotype of the Val158Met variant of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) gene would perform better in a simulated air-defense task than would people without that genotype. The presence of the COMT gene has been shown to increase dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), which controls executive function (e.g., memory, reasoning, problem solving). "Dopamine availability in the PFC appears to be particularly important when task demands are high," the authors note in the paper.

Parasuraman et al. examined the performance of 99 men and women ages 18 to 38, who were divided into three genotyped groups based on the Val158Met variant. Over the course of four training blocks, participants controlled six unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in low- and high-task-load conditions to destroy enemy targets, prevent enemy incursions, and avoid friendly fire while attending to a communications task.

The researchers did indeed find that participants with the Met/Met genotype of the COMT gene showed more improvement with training and performed better than did those in the other two genotype (Val/Met and Val/Val) groups.

The results of this study, which was supported by a grant from the Air Force Research Lab, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, are promising for improving the training of real-world operators of multiple UAVs. Parasuraman et al. also note that the work has value for illustrating that matching training to individuals based on their cognitive abilities could be more important than other factors in personnel selection.


'/>"/>

Contact: Lois Smith
lois@hfes.org
310-394-1811
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. 1 region, 2 functions: Brain cells multitasking key to understanding overall brain function
2. Can behavior be controlled by genes? The case of honeybee work assignments
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/2/2017)... Summary This report provides all the ... interests and activities since 2010. ... Read the full report: http://www.reportlinker.com/p03605615-summary/view-report.html ... report provides an in-depth insight into the partnering activity of ... On demand company reports are prepared upon purchase to ensure ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... LONDON , March 2, 2017 Who ... infringement lawsuits? Download the full report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4313699/ ... ON THE FINGERPRINT SENSOR FIELD? Fingerprint sensors using ... smartphones. The fingerprint sensor vendor Idex forecasts an increase ... in mobile devices and of the fingerprint sensor market ...
(Date:3/1/2017)... 1, 2017  Aware, Inc. (NASDAQ: AWRE), a leading ... Richard P. Moberg has resigned, effective March 3, ... Financial Officer and Treasurer of Aware citing a desire ... a member of the Board of Directors of Aware. ... Executive Officer and co-President, General Counsel has been named ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... selected by the Connecticut Technology Council (CTC) as a 2017 Women of Innovation® ... annual Women of Innovation Awards Dinner. , The dinner recognizes women accomplished in ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... YORK , March 23, 2017 ... look at four equities in the Biotech industry: Sangamo ... Synthetic Biologics Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), and Regulus Therapeutics ... 21 st , 2017, Credit Suisse upgraded its rating on ... by downloading their free report at: ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Calif. , March 22, 2017  UBM ... proud to announce their extended partnership and the ... be headlined by the 21 st Annual ... Boston, taking place May 3-4, 2017. ... Medical Technology Association (ADVAMED) President and CEO, ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017 MarketNewsUpdates.com News Commentary  ... The traditional ways ... pressured as of late due to the rise of the ... a dramatic impact on patient,s quality of life as Biotech ... identifying new forms of opioid formulations that prevent abuse. Biotech ...
Breaking Biology Technology: