Evaluation of Vigilance Related to Visual Perception

  • J. Meyer-Delius
  • L. Liebl
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 1)


Voluntary saccadic eye movements and the dynamics of peripheral blood flow were monitored in pilots and weapon systems operators (WSOs) performing visual perception task. With prolonged perceptive strain, beginning fatigue is indicated by an increase in latency and reaction times and a decrease in maximal angular velocities of saccadic eye movements. Simultaneously, after an initial rise, respiratory as well as heart rates are slightly reduced and photoplethysinography of skin blood flow reveals increasing fluctuations of the volume pulse waves.

Repetitive measurements on three subsequent days showed a shift to shorter initial values of the latency times, but still the same prolongation under visual strain. This decrease may be due to a training effect and/or to spontaneous circa-dian fluctuations inherent to the optokinetic system. Vigilance and fatigue are projected into the neurovegetative control system regulating circulation. Combined perceptive and emotional stress (as experienced during the required adaptation to a new visual task) triggers an unstable “epinephrine” type of cardiovascular response whereas perceptive stress alone results in a stable “norepinephrine” type of reaction.


Heart Rate Variability Visual Perception Visual Task Skin Blood Flow Peripheral Blood Flow 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Meyer-Delius
    • 1
  • L. Liebl
    • 1
  1. 1.German Air Force Institute of Aviation MedicineFürstenfeldbruckGermany

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