School of Arts and Humanities
The work has been supported by the Cyber Security Research Centre Limited, whose activities are partially funded by the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Programme.
Declines in the capacity to sustain attention to repetitive, monotonous tasks is a phenomenon known as vigilance decrement (Endsley M, Kiris E. The out-of-the-loop performance problem and level of control in automation. 1995. Hum Factors. 37:32-64). This review compares cognitive theories with psycho-physiological models of vigilance decrement, and a gap is identified in mapping between the 2. That is, theories of vigilance decrement refer to "cognitive" resources; by contrast, psychophysiological models of the cerebral systems associated with attention explain performance functions according to neurochemical resources. A map does not currently exist in the literature that bridges the gap between cognitive theories of vigilance decrement and psychophysiological models of the human attention system. The link between "cognitive resource" theories of vigilance decrement and the psychophysiological models of attention performance is a gap in the literature that this review fills. This comprehensive review provides an expanded psychophysiological understanding of vigilance decrement that could help inform the management of declines in sustained attention capacity in operational settings. In addition, elucidating the link between cognitive theories of vigilance decrement and psychophysiological models of the human attention system might be used to treat and better understand pathologies such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
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