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Mil Med. 2010 Dec;175(12):939-44.

A comparison of cognitive performance decreases during acute, progressive fatigue arising from different concurrent stressors.

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Exercise Biochemistry and Metabolism Laboratory, University of Texas, San Antonio, TX 78249, USA.


Fatigue is known to impair cognitive performance, but it remains unclear whether concurrent common stressors affect cognitive performance similarly. We used the Stroop Color-Word Conflict Test to assess cognitive performance over 24 hours for four groups: control, sleep-deprived (SD), SD + energy deficit, and SD + energy deficit + fluid restricted. Fatigue levels were quantified using the Profile of Mood States (POMS) survey. Linear mixed-effects (LME) models allowed for testing of group-specific differences in cognitive performance while accounting for subject-level variation. Starting fatigue levels were similar among all groups, while 24-hour fatigue levels differed significantly. For each cognitive performance test, results were modeled separately. The simplest LME model contained a significant fixed-effects term for slope and intercept. Moreover, the simplest LME model used a single slope coefficient to fit data from all four groups, suggesting that loss in cognitive performance over a 24-hour duty cycle with respect to fatigue level is similar regardless of the cause.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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