Changes in reaction time, coefficient of variance of reaction time, and autonomic nerve function in the mental fatigue state caused by long-term computerized Kraepelin test workload in healthy volunteers

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DOI: 10.4236/wjns.2012.22016    4,658 Downloads   9,923 Views   Citations


Fatigue is a common sense caused by crushing labor, stressful social events and various illnesses. It is usually judged by their subjective symptoms, but it should be evaluated in an objective perspective. Here we show that the decrease of working efficiency and sympathetic hyperactivity are associated with mental fatigue state caused by prolonged mental workload. Recently we made a new mental fatigue model of healthy volunteers caused by long-term computerized Kraepelin test (CKT) workload. CKT is our new software for automatically checking the calculation capability, with which it is easy to determine the reaction time (RT), coefficient of variance of reaction time (CV), and accuracy of the answers (AC) during tasks. We put 24 healthy volunteers into the fatigue state by subjecting them to 120 minutes’ CKT workload, and then studied the changes in fatigue sensation, RT, CV, and AC before and after the CKT workload. The fatigue sensation, RT, and CV were clearly increased by the fatigue-inducing task and recovered during the resting period. We also studied the changes in autonomic nerve activity by using heart rate variability analysis. The low/high frequency component ratio (LF/HF) was signifi-cantly increased by the fatigue-inducing task and decreased by resting, suggesting that mental stress causes a relatively sympathetic nerve activity-dominant state. Therefore, our new fatigue model involving a long-term CKT workload is a good mental fatigue model to provide much information about the fatigue state simultane-ously, and the increase of RT, CV, and proportion of sympathetic activity (LF/HF) are associated with mental fatigue state. These might be useful objective biomarkers or evaluating a mental fatigue state.

Cite this paper

Kuratsune, D. , Tajima, S. , Koizumi, J. , Yamaguti, K. , Sasabe, T. , Mizuno, K. , Tanaka, M. , Okawa, N. , Mito, H. , Tsubone, H. , Watanabe, Y. , Inoue, M. and Kuratsune, H. (2012) Changes in reaction time, coefficient of variance of reaction time, and autonomic nerve function in the mental fatigue state caused by long-term computerized Kraepelin test workload in healthy volunteers. World Journal of Neuroscience, 2, 113-118. doi: 10.4236/wjns.2012.22016.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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