Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Electroencephalographic Evidence on the Strategies of Adaptation to the Factors of Monotony

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Electroencephalographic Evidence on the Strategies of Adaptation to the Factors of Monotony

Article excerpt

In a series of studies, in which 19 apparently healthy male volunteers participated, on the basis of a comparative analysis of the bioelectric brain activity and work performance, it is shown that two strategies of adaptation to the factors of monotony are possible. One of them is based on the maintenance of a high quality of activity even at the price of a considerable reduction in the functional state of the brain; the second is based on the maintenance of the functional status of the brain even at the expense of the short-term loss of control over realizable performance. The factor conditioning the long term inability to support continual high quality of performance under the conditions of monotony is a high lability in nervous processes. The resistance to the effects of the factors of monotony is connected, on the other hand, with the low lability of nervous processes with a certain predominance of excitatory processes over inhibiting processes. The electrographic correlates of the development of the state of monotony represent an increase in the EEG of an alert person of the slow spectra (theta and alpha), and also beta-2 waves, as well as a reduction in the intrahemispheric coherence of alpha-waves. These results can be used for the development of control systems for the state of the operators who work in conditions of monotony (pilots, the operators of electric trains, the operators of power plants, including atomic power plants, and others), as well as in the occupational selection of individuals for jobs involving work under such conditions.

Keywords: electroencephalography, monotony, power spectra, coherence spectra

Sobre la base de un análisis comparativo de la actividad bioeléctrica del cerebro y del rendimiento en el trabajo, se mostró en una serie de estudios en los que participaaron voluntarios masculinos aparentemente sanos que es posible tener dos estrategies de adaptación a los factores de la monotonía. Una de ellas se basa en el mantenimiento de una alta calidad de la actividad, incluso a costa de una considerable reducción en el estado funciónal del cerebro; la segunda. se basa en el mantenimiento del estado funcional del cerebro, incluso a costa de una pérdida de control a corto plazo del rendimiento posible. El factor que condiciona la incapacidad a largo plazo de soportar la alta calidad continua del rendimiento bajo condiciones de monotonía es una alta labilidad en los procesos nerviosos. La resistencia a los efectos de los factores de la monotonía se relaciona, por otro lado, con la baja labilidad de los procesos nerviosos con cierto predominio de procesos excitatorios sobre los procesos de inhibición. Los correlatos electrográficos del desarrollo del estado de monotonía representan un aumento en el EEG de una persona alerta de las ondas lentas (zeta y alfa), y también las ondas beta-2, además de la reducción en la coherencia intrahemisférica de las ondas-alfa. Estos resultados pueden utilizarse para el desarrollo de sistemas de control para el estado de operadores que trabajen en condiciones de monotonía (pilotos, conductores de trenes eléctricos, operadores de centrales eléctricas, incluyendo centrales nucleares, y otros), además de en la selección de individuos para puestos de trabajo en dichas condiciones.

Palabras clave: electroencefalografía, monotonía, espectro de potencia, espectro de coherencia

The question about the relation between stable individual traits and characteristics of human performance is urgent both in the theoretical and in the practical aspects. Interest in this grew substantially in the middle of the 20th century in connection with the massive expansion of the profession of the operators for management and control systems monitoring, which is currently one of the most common occupations. The improvement in the technical sector of control systems created a situation in which the human element became its most vulnerable link, determining the stability and reliability of the functioning of the system as a whole; and the so-called human factor becames a source of mistakes, the consequences of which are often largescale technogenic catastrophes with massive loss of human life. …

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