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Science showcase presents psychology's 'hands-on' benefits
Date:8/2/2011

nd psychology professor Daniel Stokols, PhD.

The third demonstration will show how astronauts working in space can test themselves to see if they are too fatigued to do their job safely. Invented by sleep expert and psychologist David Dinges, PhD, the test is known as the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT). The PVT assesses changes in sustained attention, response speed, and impulsivity associated with sleep loss, and can help determine how fatigue can impair performance in safety-critical occupations such as in transportation, medicine, the military, and space exploration.

David Schroeder, PhD, retired researcher with the Federal Aviation Administration's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute, will discuss technology used to better understand the relationship between sleep, fatigue, and performance. The demonstration will include a three-minute, laptop version of the PVT self-test, designed to meet the limited time constraints of astronauts. It can identify impulsive responses made before a signal and other immediate feedback that allows the person taking the test to compare his or her performance with someone who is fully alert. A handheld digital device that incorporates a PVT measure to gather data on activity and sleep, including a voice recording for evidence of fatigue, will also be demonstrated. The device was used recently in support of an FAA investigation of fatigue in flight attendants.


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Contact: Lisa Bowen
lbowen@apa.org
202-336-5707
American Psychological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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