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Sustained Attention

  • Date Submitted: 10/30/2012 01:23 AM
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Vigilance (psychology)
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In modern psychology, vigilance, also termed sustained attention, is defined as the ability to maintain attention and alertness over prolonged periods of time.[1] During this time, the person attempts to detect the appearance of a particular target stimulus. The individual watches for a signal stimulus that may occur at an unknown time. [2][3] The study of vigilance has expanded since the 1940s mainly due to the increased interaction of people with machines for applications involving monitoring and detection of rare events and weak signals. Such applications include air traffic control, inspection and quality control, automated navigation, and military and border surveillance, and lifeguards.
Contents[hide]     * 1 Origins of vigilance research   * 2 Vigilance decrement   * 3 Vigilance decrement and Signal Detection Theory   * 4 Vigilance Taxonomy: discrimination type and event rate   * 5 Measuring mental workload during vigilance tasks   * 6 Brain regions associated with vigilance   * 7 Vigilance and stress   * 8 Individual differences in vigilance performance   * 9 Reducing the vigilance decrement with amphetamines   * 10 Practice and sustained attention   * 11 Vigilance and aging   * 12 Vigilance and the lack of habituation   * 13 See also   * 14 References   * 15 External links |
[edit] Origins of vigilance research
The systematic study of vigilance was initiated by Norman Mackworth during World War II. Mackworth authored "The breakdown of vigilance during prolonged visual search" in 1948 and this paper is the seminal publication on vigilance.[4] Mackworth's 1948 study investigated the tendency of radar and sonar operators to miss rare irregular event detections near the end of their watch. Mackworth simulated rare irregular events on a radar display by having the test participants watch an unmarked clock face over a 2 hour period. A single clock hand moved in small...

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