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Development of microcomputer-based mental acuity testsRecent disasters have focused attention on performance problems due to the use of alcohol and controlled substances in the workplace. Environmental stressors such as thermal extremes, mixed gases, noise, motion, and vibration also have adverse effects on human performance and operator efficiency. However, the lack of a standardized, sensitive, human performance assessment battery has probably delayed the systematic study of the deleterious effects of various toxic chemicals and drugs at home and in the workplace. The collective goal of the research reported here is the development of a menu of tests embedded in a coherent package of hardware and software that may be useful in repeated-measures studies of a broad range of agents that can degrade human performance. A menu of 40 tests from the Automated Performance Test System (APTS) is described, and the series of interlocking studies supporting its development is reviewed. The APTS tests, which run on several versions of laptop portables and desktop personal computers, have been shown to be stable, reliable, and factorially rich, and to have predictive validities with holistic measures of intelligence and simulator performances. In addition, sensitivity studies have been conducted in which performance changes due to stressors, agents, and treatments were demonstrated. We believe that tests like those described here have prospective use as an adjunct to urine testing for the screening for performance loss of individuals who are granted access to workplaces and stations that impact public safety.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Turnage, J. J. (University of Central Florida Orlando)
Kennedy, R. S.
Smith, M. G.
Baltzley, D. R.
Lane, N. E.
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1992
Publication Information
Publication: Ergonomics
Volume: 35
Issue: 10
ISSN: 0014-0139
Subject Category
Behavioral Sciences
Distribution Limits
Non-NASA Center
NASA Discipline Neuroscience