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Dissociation between mental fatigue and motivational state during prolonged mental activity.

Gergelyfi M, Jacob B, Olivier E, Zénon A - Front Behav Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: An influential hypothesis states that MF does not arise from a disruption of overused neural processes but, rather, is caused by a progressive decrease in motivation-related task engagement.Finally, alterations of the motivational state through monetary incentives failed to compensate the effects of MF.These findings indicate that MF in healthy subjects is not caused by an alteration of task engagement but is likely to be the consequence of a decrease in the efficiency, or availability, of cognitive resources.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Neuroscience, Université Catholique de Louvain Brussels, Belgium.

ABSTRACT
Mental fatigue (MF) is commonly observed following prolonged cognitive activity and can have major repercussions on the daily life of patients as well as healthy individuals. Despite its important impact, the cognitive processes involved in MF remain largely unknown. An influential hypothesis states that MF does not arise from a disruption of overused neural processes but, rather, is caused by a progressive decrease in motivation-related task engagement. Here, to test this hypothesis, we measured various neural, autonomic, psychometric and behavioral signatures of MF and motivation (EEG, ECG, pupil size, eye blinks, Skin conductance responses (SCRs), questionnaires and performance in a working memory (WM) task) in healthy volunteers, while MF was induced by Sudoku tasks performed for 120 min. Moreover extrinsic motivation was manipulated by using different levels of monetary reward. We found that, during the course of the experiment, the participants' subjective feeling of fatigue increased and their performance worsened while their blink rate and heart rate variability (HRV) increased. Conversely, reward-induced EEG, pupillometric and skin conductance signal changes, regarded as indicators of task engagement, remained constant during the experiment, and failed to correlate with the indices of MF. In addition, MF did not affect a simple reaction time task, despite the strong influence of extrinsic motivation on this task. Finally, alterations of the motivational state through monetary incentives failed to compensate the effects of MF. These findings indicate that MF in healthy subjects is not caused by an alteration of task engagement but is likely to be the consequence of a decrease in the efficiency, or availability, of cognitive resources.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Block effect on the markers of motivation. (A) Mean EEG power averaged over the frequencies and electrodes isolated by the cluster-based permutation test in the WM task. (B) Mean pupil response as a function of block condition in the WM task. (C) Mean SCR as a function of block condition in the WM task. (D) Mean RT (ms) as a function of block condition in the SiRT task.
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Figure 5: Block effect on the markers of motivation. (A) Mean EEG power averaged over the frequencies and electrodes isolated by the cluster-based permutation test in the WM task. (B) Mean pupil response as a function of block condition in the WM task. (C) Mean SCR as a function of block condition in the WM task. (D) Mean RT (ms) as a function of block condition in the SiRT task.

Mentions: Conversely, two-way repeated measures ANOVAs on the physiological markers of motivation gathered in the WM task did not reveal any significant decrease across block repetition (EEG: F(4,60) = 1.83, p = 0.1343, see Figure 5A; pupil response: F(4,60) = 1.08, p = 0.37, see Figure 5B; SCR: F(4,36) = 1.1, p = 0.37, see Figure 5C). The probability of this negative result being genuine was assessed by means of the Bayes factor (BF) estimation method (Masson, 2011). The BF indicates how much more likely the hypothesis is with respect to the alternative hypothesis, given the data. For the abovementioned non-significant block effect on EEG, pupil response and SCR, the BF was equal to 102.3691, 443.0648 and 158.2374, respectively. These BFs provide strong evidence in favor of the hypothesis.


Dissociation between mental fatigue and motivational state during prolonged mental activity.

Gergelyfi M, Jacob B, Olivier E, Zénon A - Front Behav Neurosci (2015)

Block effect on the markers of motivation. (A) Mean EEG power averaged over the frequencies and electrodes isolated by the cluster-based permutation test in the WM task. (B) Mean pupil response as a function of block condition in the WM task. (C) Mean SCR as a function of block condition in the WM task. (D) Mean RT (ms) as a function of block condition in the SiRT task.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4499755&req=5

Figure 5: Block effect on the markers of motivation. (A) Mean EEG power averaged over the frequencies and electrodes isolated by the cluster-based permutation test in the WM task. (B) Mean pupil response as a function of block condition in the WM task. (C) Mean SCR as a function of block condition in the WM task. (D) Mean RT (ms) as a function of block condition in the SiRT task.
Mentions: Conversely, two-way repeated measures ANOVAs on the physiological markers of motivation gathered in the WM task did not reveal any significant decrease across block repetition (EEG: F(4,60) = 1.83, p = 0.1343, see Figure 5A; pupil response: F(4,60) = 1.08, p = 0.37, see Figure 5B; SCR: F(4,36) = 1.1, p = 0.37, see Figure 5C). The probability of this negative result being genuine was assessed by means of the Bayes factor (BF) estimation method (Masson, 2011). The BF indicates how much more likely the hypothesis is with respect to the alternative hypothesis, given the data. For the abovementioned non-significant block effect on EEG, pupil response and SCR, the BF was equal to 102.3691, 443.0648 and 158.2374, respectively. These BFs provide strong evidence in favor of the hypothesis.

Bottom Line: An influential hypothesis states that MF does not arise from a disruption of overused neural processes but, rather, is caused by a progressive decrease in motivation-related task engagement.Finally, alterations of the motivational state through monetary incentives failed to compensate the effects of MF.These findings indicate that MF in healthy subjects is not caused by an alteration of task engagement but is likely to be the consequence of a decrease in the efficiency, or availability, of cognitive resources.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Neuroscience, Université Catholique de Louvain Brussels, Belgium.

ABSTRACT
Mental fatigue (MF) is commonly observed following prolonged cognitive activity and can have major repercussions on the daily life of patients as well as healthy individuals. Despite its important impact, the cognitive processes involved in MF remain largely unknown. An influential hypothesis states that MF does not arise from a disruption of overused neural processes but, rather, is caused by a progressive decrease in motivation-related task engagement. Here, to test this hypothesis, we measured various neural, autonomic, psychometric and behavioral signatures of MF and motivation (EEG, ECG, pupil size, eye blinks, Skin conductance responses (SCRs), questionnaires and performance in a working memory (WM) task) in healthy volunteers, while MF was induced by Sudoku tasks performed for 120 min. Moreover extrinsic motivation was manipulated by using different levels of monetary reward. We found that, during the course of the experiment, the participants' subjective feeling of fatigue increased and their performance worsened while their blink rate and heart rate variability (HRV) increased. Conversely, reward-induced EEG, pupillometric and skin conductance signal changes, regarded as indicators of task engagement, remained constant during the experiment, and failed to correlate with the indices of MF. In addition, MF did not affect a simple reaction time task, despite the strong influence of extrinsic motivation on this task. Finally, alterations of the motivational state through monetary incentives failed to compensate the effects of MF. These findings indicate that MF in healthy subjects is not caused by an alteration of task engagement but is likely to be the consequence of a decrease in the efficiency, or availability, of cognitive resources.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus