Accession Number : AD0704472

Title :   RECOVERY OF MOTOR PERFORMANCE FOLLOWING STARTLE,

Corporate Author : CIVIL AEROMEDICAL INST OKLAHOMA CITY OKLA

Personal Author(s) : Thackray,Richard I. ; Touchstone,R. Mark

Report Date : OCT 1969

Pagination or Media Count : 14

Abstract : Sudden, high-intensity sounds, such as those produced by sonic booms, can be quite startling. Although many studies have investigated physiological response to startle, much less is known concerning the effects of startle on performance. The present study was designed to provide further information concerning the extent to which startle disrupts performance, the rate of recovery, and characteristics of subjects (Ss) who differ in susceptibility to startle. Thirty Ss were trained on both reaction time and tracking tasks. Continuous recordings were taken of heart rate and skin conductance. During a subsequent period of continuous tracking, 'startle' stimuli (115 db random noise) were unexpectedly presented. Results revealed the recovery of tracking performance following startle to be quite rapid; performance returned to pre-stimulus levels within 15 seconds following stimulation. Contrary to several previous studies, reaction times to the startle stimuli decreased relative to nonstartle reaction times. Ss with the greatest increase in tracking error following startle were least proficient prior to startle. There was also an indication that these Ss reacted more strongly to startle, both in terms of subjective response and heart rate acceleration, than those Ss whose tracking was least impaired by startle. An apparent covariation between recovery curves for heart rate and tracking error was found following startle. (Author)

Descriptors :   (*NOISE, *PERCEPTION), (*MOTOR REACTIONS, NOISE), STIMULATION(PHYSIOLOGY), PERFORMANCE(HUMAN), RECOVERY, REACTION(PSYCHOLOGY), PULSE RATE, PHYSIOLOGY, MOTOR REACTIONS, RESPONSE(BIOLOGY), BEHAVIOR, AVIATION MEDICINE, PILOTS

Subject Categories : Stress Physiology

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE