September 2018
Volume 18, Issue 10
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2018
Fatigue causes lengthened giving-up times when the task is hard
Author Affiliations
  • Gemma Hanson
    Psychology, University of Southampton, UK
  • Dominic Taunton
    Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute, University of Southampton, UK
  • Tamaryn Menneer
    Psychology, University of Southampton, UK
  • Nicholas Donnelly
    Psychology, University of Southampton, UK
Journal of Vision September 2018, Vol.18, 478. doi:
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      Gemma Hanson, Dominic Taunton, Tamaryn Menneer, Nicholas Donnelly; Fatigue causes lengthened giving-up times when the task is hard. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):478. doi:

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

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Negative effects of partial or acute sleep-deprivation on attention and working-memory are well established (Alhola & Plo-Kantola, 2007). In the present study fatigue was explored in the context of a word-generation task, providing an understanding of whether fatigue affects the behavioural style of the task or the way in which it is processed. The current study compared performance across two word-generation tasks across participants whose sleep was restricted to 4 hours for 3 consecutive nights, whose sleep was deprived for 30 hours and participants who maintained their usual sleep. Participants were presented with two sets of seven letters, one set was deemed easy while the other hard. From these two lettersets they generated as many words as possible (Payne et al., 2007). Only one set of letters was visible at a given time, and participants could freely switch between them. Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (Åkerstedt & Gillberg, 1990) ratings were highest for the sleep-deprived group, followed by the sleep-restricted then controls. Fatigue was associated with a reduction in the number of words generated, and an increase in the time from the last word generated to switching to the other letter set (giving-up time), but only when the task was hard. A possible explanation might be the rate that they generated words changed. This was calculated by dividing the time before giving up by the number of words generated which provided an index of the rate of word generation; this did not change with fatigue. An alternative explanation is that the results may be related to an impaired ability to recall words. The frequency of words generated was explored; it was not affected by fatigue. The present study therefore suggested that following fatigue, the nature of how you perform the task doesn't change it simply causes participants to take longer to give-up.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018


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