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Forty students performed on a perceptual discrimination task both before and after a mid-day lunch interval. Half of the students consumed a three-course lunch during the interval, the remaining half abstained from lunch. It was found that the actual ability to discriminate between events was significantly impaired following the consumption of lunch, but did not alter when no food was ingested. The magnitude of the post-lunch dip in discrimination efficiency was significantly greater in the less “neurotic” and the more “extraverted” individuals, according to scores on the Eysenck Personality Inventory, and was also significantly though negatively related to the extent of the drop in sublingual temperature that occurred over the lunch interval. It is concluded that operational efficiency and safety may be at risk following lunch.

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Craig, A., Baer, K. & Diekmann, A. The effects of lunch on sensory-perceptual functioning in man. Int. Arch Occup Environ Heath 49, 105–114 (1981).

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