September 2017
Volume 17, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   August 2017
Oculomotor assessment of diurnal arousal variations
Author Affiliations
  • Jeffrey Mulligan
    Human Systems Integration division, NASA Ames Research Center, USA
  • Carolina Diaz-Piedra
    Mind, Brain, and Behavior Research Center, University of Granada, Spain
  • Leandro Di Stasi
    Department of General Psychology, University of Padova, Italy
Journal of Vision August 2017, Vol.17, 1153. doi:
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      Jeffrey Mulligan, Carolina Diaz-Piedra, Leandro Di Stasi; Oculomotor assessment of diurnal arousal variations. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):1153.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Saccadic and pupil responses are reliable indices of arousal decrement (e.g. fatigue), that might be exploited to improve work schedule guidelines. In this study, we tested the sensitivity of a short 30-s oculomotor test to detect diurnal arousal variations. Twelve participants (5 females, 7 males, 37.7±11.9 years) volunteered to be assessed every hour (66±20 min) for three consecutive working days, during their regular office-hours. We used a fully automated testing system, the FIT 2000 Fitness Impairment Tester (Pulse Medical Instruments Inc., Rockville, MD, USA), to measure and record saccadic peak velocity, pupil diameter, and latency and amplitude of the pupillary light reflex. In addition, we collected subjective levels of arousal using the Stanford Sleepiness Scale, and body core temperature. We analyzed the data using a linear mixed model approach for longitudinal data. Both saccadic velocity and subjective alertness decreased over the course of a day, while body core temperature increased (all p-values < .05). The data also weakly suggested an increase of the pupil diameter (p=.07). The findings support the use of oculomotor indices in the assessment of arousal and fatigue in applied settings.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017


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