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Hum Factors. 2014 May;56(3):453-62.

A strategically timed verbal task improves performance and neurophysiological alertness during fatiguing drives.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study was to investigate if a verbal task can improve alertness and if performance changes are associated with changes in alertness as measured by EEG.

BACKGROUND:

Previous research has shown that a secondary task can improve performance on a short, monotonous drive. The current work extends this by examining longer, fatiguing drives. The study also uses EEG to confirm that improved driving performance is concurrent with improved driver alertness.

METHOD:

A 90-min, monotonous simulator drive was used to place drivers in a fatigued state. Four secondary tasks were used: no verbal task, continuous verbal task, late verbal task, and a passive radio task.

RESULTS:

When engaged in a secondary verbal task at the end of the drive, drivers showed improved lane-keeping performance and had improvements in neurophysiological measures of alertness.

CONCLUSION:

A strategically timed concurrent task can improve performance even for fatiguing drives.

APPLICATION:

Secondary-task countermeasures may prove useful for enhancing driving performance across a range of driving conditions.

PMID:
24930168
DOI:
10.1177/0018720813500305
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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