Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Conscious Cogn. 2016 May;42:277-285. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2016.04.005. Epub 2016 Apr 16.

Rest improves performance, nature improves happiness: Assessment of break periods on the abbreviated vigilance task.

Author information

1
College of Science, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand. Electronic address: kristin.finkbeiner@pg.canterbury.ac.nz.
2
College of Science, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand.

Abstract

The abbreviated vigilance task can quickly generate vigilance decrements, which has been argued is due to depletion of cognitive resources needed to sustain performance. Researchers suggest inclusion of rest breaks within vigilance tasks improve overall performance (Helton & Russell, 2015; Ross, Russell, & Helton, 2014), while different types of breaks demonstrate different effects. Some literature suggests exposure to natural movements/stimuli helps restore attention (Herzog, Black, Fountaine, & Knotts, 1997; Kaplan, 1995). Participants were randomly assigned to one experimental condition: dog video breaks, robot video breaks, countdown breaks or continuous vigilance. We assessed task performance and subjective reports of stress/workload. The continuous group displayed worst performance, suggesting breaks help restore attention. The dog videos did not affect performance, however, decreased reports of distress. These results support the importance of rest breaks and acknowledge the benefit of natural stimuli for promoting wellbeing/stress relief, overall suggesting performance and wellbeing may be independent, which warrants future studies.

KEYWORDS:

Abbreviated vigilance task; Attention restoration theory; Rest break; Vigilance

PMID:
27089530
DOI:
10.1016/j.concog.2016.04.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center