Impact of vertigo and spatial disorientation on concurrent cognitive tasks

Gresty, Michael A. and Golding, John F. (2009) Impact of vertigo and spatial disorientation on concurrent cognitive tasks. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1164. pp. 263-267. ISSN 0077-8923

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Disorientation may draw attention from other activities and its impact on cognition may cause pilot error and problems of concentration in dizzy patients. Tasks used to study the impact of disorientation include number processing, intelligence scales and Brookes matrices (reproduction of 2xD patterns of numbers vs. nonsensical sentences), and Stroop tasks to probe selective effects on spatial versus verbally-loaded tasks. This variety of tasks has been used to evaluate cognitive performance in numerous scenarios, including visual-vestibular mismatch, vection, spinning, coriolis, balancing, and flight maneuvers. A meta-analysis provides an overview of how spatial disorientation may affect cognition: Substantial individual differences in managing disorientation are to be expected; errors on cognitive tasks occur during the first few experiences of a disorienting situation and subjects rapidly learn to "quarantine" this "novelty effect"; familiarity with and practice on a test gives protection against disorientation; task performance continues to suffer if the protagonist is unaware of disorientation; with disorientation that demands external resolution (e.g., interpretation of instruments) the subject must learn to switch priority to the cognitive task; there is a moderate preferential impact of disorientation on spatial tasks; anxiety of real situations probably exacerbates the impact of disorientation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2010 10:37
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2010 10:37

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