Psychophysiological Training of Operators in Adaptive Biofeedback Cardiorhythm Control

Article excerpt

A new individual computerized technique for psychophysiological training of operators before performing psychomotor activity on a computer model (psychomotor concentration and spatial orientation test) was developed. Qualitative criteria for the prediction of safe operator activity were formulated. Preliminary testing of operators' activity quality showed great dispersion of individual results: The amount of errors ranged from 0 to 56 and the rate of information processing varied from 1.01 up 3.56 bit/s. Subjects with initially identified respiratory sinus arrhythmia or synchronization caused by respiratory movements committed minimal recognition errors in initial stages at a high rate of information processing. The number of errors remained unchanged after the biofeedback cardio-training cycle, with the rate of information processing increasing noticeably. Subjects without inherent harmonics developed harmonics after sessions of cardiorhythm biofeedback control, and their operator activity quality improved significantly, making fewer mistakes and increasing the rate of information processing. Biofeedback control led not only to the restoration of respiratory sinus arrhythmia, a favorable diagnostic sign, as revealed by cardiorhythmograms, but also resulted in improvement of the quality of operator activity.

Keywords: adaptive cardio-biofeedback, harmonic target function, psychomotor test, operator psychophysiological training, cardio-respiratory synchronization

Se desarrolló una nueva técnica informática para el entrenamiento psicofísiológico de operadores antes de llevar a cabo una actividad psicomotora en un modelo informático (test de concentración psicomotora y orientación espacial). Se formularon los criterios cualitativos para la predicción de la actividad segura de los operadores. Las pruebas preliminares de la calidad de la actividad de los operadores reveló una gran dispersión de los resultados individuales: la cantidad de errores oscilaba entre 0 y 56 y el porcentaje de información procesado variaba entre 1.01 y 3.56 bits/s. Los sujetos inicialmente identificados con una arritmia respiratoria sinusal o sincronización causada por los movimientos respiratorios cometían mínimos errores de reconocimiento en las fases iniciales, con una alta velocidad de procesamiento de la información. El número de errores no cambió después del ciclo de entrenamiento biofeedback cardíaco y la velocidad de procesamiento de la información aumentó considerablemente. Los sujetos sin armónicos inherentes desarrollaron armónicos después de las sesiones de control biofeedback del ritmo cardíaco, y su calidad de actividad mejoró significativamente, cometiendo menos errores y aumentando su velocidad de procesamiento de la información. El control biofeedback no sólo llevó a la restauración de la arritmia respiratoria sinusal, una señal diagnóstica favorable, como se observa en los cardiorritmogramas, sino que también mejoró la calidad de la actividad de los operadores.

Palabras clave: retroalimentación cardiaca adaptativa, función armónica, test psicomotor, entrenamiento psicofisológico de operadores, sincronización cardiaca-respiratoria

The widespread implementation of automatic systems, whose control is monotonous and requires operators' minimal physical-and sometimes minimal mental-exertion, leads to problems of decreased attention, fatigue, and drowsiness. In turn, a distracted, tired, or drowsy operator poses a threat of accidents with irreparable consequences. Prevention of such conditions and improvement of operators' reliability is possible and is continuing to be developed, using numerous psychophysiological methods and bioengineering systems. In order to prevent operators' undesirable distraction, emergency measures of "stimulation" are required, should attention begin to decline, or should the operator become drowsy. A review of current literature and patent sources has shown that there are as yet few sufficiently effective methods to prevent these potentially dangerous situations. …