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A neuroscience approach to optimizing brain resources for human performance in extre me environments

A neuroscience approach to optimizing brain resources for human performance in extre me environments

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Published by devengo
Extre me environme nts requi ring optima l cogn itive and behavio ral perf orma nce occur in a wide variet y
of situation s ranging from compl ex combat operati ons to elite athleti c compe titions . Alth ough a large
liter ature character izes psyc hologica l and oth er aspects of individ ual differen ces in perf ormances in
extr eme environme nts, virtua lly nothing is known abou t the underl ying neur al basis for these
differ ences. This review summa rizes th e cogn itive, emotio nal, and behav ioral conseq uences of expos ure
to extreme environme nts, discusse s predictor s of perf ormance, and builds a case for the use of
neur oscien ce ap proaches to quantify and un dersta nd opt imal cogn itive and behavior al perf orma nce.
Extre me enviro nments are defined as an ext ernal context that exposes individu als to dem anding
psyc hologica l and/ or physical conditions , and which m ay have pro found effects on cognitiv e and
beh avioral perf orma nce. Example s of th ese type s of enviro nment s include comb at situat ions, Olym pic-level competi tion, and exped itions in extr eme col d, at high altitude s, or in space. Op timal perfo rmance is
defi ned as the degree to wh ich individu als achieve a desir ed outco me when compl eting goa l-orient ed
tasks. It is hypot hesized that indiv idual variabil ity with re spect to optima l performa nce in extr eme
envir onment s depend s on a we ll ‘‘con textua lized’’ internal bod y state that is associa ted with an
app ropriate poten tial to act . This hypothe sis can be tran slated into an experime ntal approa ch that may
be useful fo r quant ifying the degree to wh ich indiv iduals are particu larly suited to performin g optima lly
in demand ing environme nts.
Extre me environme nts requi ring optima l cogn itive and behavio ral perf orma nce occur in a wide variet y
of situation s ranging from compl ex combat operati ons to elite athleti c compe titions . Alth ough a large
liter ature character izes psyc hologica l and oth er aspects of individ ual differen ces in perf ormances in
extr eme environme nts, virtua lly nothing is known abou t the underl ying neur al basis for these
differ ences. This review summa rizes th e cogn itive, emotio nal, and behav ioral conseq uences of expos ure
to extreme environme nts, discusse s predictor s of perf ormance, and builds a case for the use of
neur oscien ce ap proaches to quantify and un dersta nd opt imal cogn itive and behavior al perf orma nce.
Extre me enviro nments are defined as an ext ernal context that exposes individu als to dem anding
psyc hologica l and/ or physical conditions , and which m ay have pro found effects on cognitiv e and
beh avioral perf orma nce. Example s of th ese type s of enviro nment s include comb at situat ions, Olym pic-level competi tion, and exped itions in extr eme col d, at high altitude s, or in space. Op timal perfo rmance is
defi ned as the degree to wh ich individu als achieve a desir ed outco me when compl eting goa l-orient ed
tasks. It is hypot hesized that indiv idual variabil ity with re spect to optima l performa nce in extr eme
envir onment s depend s on a we ll ‘‘con textua lized’’ internal bod y state that is associa ted with an
app ropriate poten tial to act . This hypothe sis can be tran slated into an experime ntal approa ch that may
be useful fo r quant ifying the degree to wh ich indiv iduals are particu larly suited to performin g optima lly
in demand ing environme nts.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: devengo on Jan 17, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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