Visuospatial Working Memory under Fatigue: Observations with Cerebral Hemodynamics and Heart Rate Variability
Event Type
Technical Groups
Augmented Cognition
TimeWednesday, October 6th8:30am - 8:45am EDT
LocationGrand Salon I
DescriptionVisuospatial working memory (WM) is a central component of human executive function within safety-critical systems, where the interactions between fatigue due to time-on-task and WM capacity remain critical yet under-explored dimensions. In this work, we investigate the temporal dynamics of brain activation, functional connectivity, and heart-rate variability (HRV) during a fatiguing visuospatial two-back test. We recruited sixteen participants who were subject to this protocol while we captured their neurophysiological data through near-infrared spectroscopy and HRV. We observed that brain activation in the pre-frontal cortex (PFC) mirrors performance, where, with the onset of fatigue we found a decrease in both measures. Functional connectivity strengths were found to decrease between key PFC regions and the secondary visual cortex suggesting fatigue-induced task disengagement. Further, we explored the validity of the neurovisceral integration model in explaining HRV changes against brain activation. Together, our observations support the development of a predictive framework for WM decline.