Scientific Institute on Problems of Military Medicine of Ukrainian Military-Medical Academy, KyivFull article (PDF), UKR
Introduction. In modem research a significant attention is paid to gerohygiene problems, as in future, elderly people will mostly be involved in management activities. Despite the great experience of people of the retirement age in their working activity, this phenomenon will undoubtedly affect the reliability of operators’ work, when processing a large amount of information in systems «man-man», and, to most extent, «man-machine».
The purpose of the study. To study age-depended peculiarities of reliability of operator’s activity in the processing of a flood of information tasks with different level of their temporal and content complexity.
Materials and methods. Two groups of male operators of similar specialties, working in the same conditions during the study, were selected as a subject of the study. The first group — 30 men (Gl), aged 30—39. The second group — 30 men, aged 40—50 years (G2). It was used a special computer program P.P.R.P to define psychophysiological characteristics. The accuracy rate of response to a moving object (RMO) and the probability of erroneous responses (p(T)), in studying the concentration of attention & short-term memory capacity testing (ASTM), were taken as characteristics of the reliability of operator’s activity. Three factors affecting the reliability of the information processing: task complexity factor (TC), content complexity factor (CC), age factor (AGE) of the subjects, have been studied.
Results. The peculiarities of the effect of AGE, TC and CC factors on the reliability of the operator's activity have been revealed. When solving simple tasks (RMO) there was shown a significant effect of AGE factor on G2 and, in this, the accuracy of the delayed types of reactions, as compared to preterm types by pressing the right hand, was significantly better for both groups of operators in the whole range of the information load. Under high informational load, the accuracy of delayed reaction type, as compared to premature types, was much better and did not depend on age or hands. The stability of RMO was significantly worse in G2, mostly under high information loads in delayed types of reactions. In some cases, there was a significant difference in indices of the balance of nervous processes, which were inversely corresponded to group levels of information processing reliability. When solving series of tasks on ASTM, the influence of all studied factors were manifested in full extent: as a rule the effect of each of them was significant.
Conclusions. The task performance accuracy, as characteristics of information processing reliability, was significantly (1,3—1,6 times) higher in Gl, in comparison with G2. Right-handed task performance accuracy of delayed type reactions, as compared to premature ones, was significant, regardless age and was the best in the whole range of the information load. G2 is characterized by significantly worse stability in accuracy reactions, but more in the pronounced balance of nervous processes in comparison with Gl, mostly in the range of high information load. The prevalence of «mnemonic» component of different
complexity of the information load resulted in formation of significantly intensive information metabolism in the body of individuals before 40, as compared to G2, and was characterized by better indicators of reliability of operators’ activity only under equal conditions of the information load. The availability of intensive information metabolism, due to conceptual complexity of ASTM test, can result in significant reduction of reliability and stability of responses with increasing complexity, regardless age.
Key words: reaction to a moving object, attention & short-term memory capacity, reliability of operator’s activity, information metabolism