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Age features of psychophysiological function transformation in military helicopter pilots of different qualifications. Report I. Age transformations of speed and cognitive characteristics

ISSN 2223-6775 Ukrainian journal of occupational health Vol.20, No 1, 2024

Age features of psychophysiological function transformation in military helicopter pilots of different qualifications. Report I. Age transformations of speed and cognitive characteristics

Kalnysh V.V.1,2, Pashkovskyi S.M.3, Pashkovska O.V.4
1State Institution «Kundiiev Institute of Occupational Health of the National Academy of Medical Science of Ukraine», Kyiv
2Ukrainian Military Medical Academy, Kyiv
3Military Medical Clinical Center of the Central Region, Vinnytsia
411th regional military medical commission, Vinnytsia

Full article (PDF), UKR

Introduction. Intensive processes in society, driven by combat actions on the territories of Ukraine, require the development of new approaches to assessing age-related changes in psychophysiological functions of military helicopter pilots. The availability of such adequate assessment will allow for a more rational utilization of the country's labor potential.

The aim of the conducted research is to identify the features of the age influence on psychophysiological functions of military helicopter pilots.

Methods and scope of the study. To identify differences in their psychophysiological reactions, 576 helicopter pilots of different ages and qualifications were examined during their stationary medical-flight examination at the Military Medical Clinical Center of the Central Region. The examination of the complex of psychophysiological functions was carried out using the software and hardware complex for psychophysiological research "PFI-2". Statistical data analysis was conducted using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA).

Results of the study. Age-related changes in the most important psychophysiological functions of military helicopter pilots, whose functional state is shaped during significant combat stress, were investigated. Using one-way analysis of variance, the influence of pilots' age on simple visual-motor reaction, functional mobility of nervous processes, strength of nervous processes, attention concentration, short-term memory capacity, and mobilization level for executing sensorimotor reactions was determined.

Conclusions. 1. A clear pattern of age-related deterioration in assessments of speed-related psychophysiological functions in military helicopter pilots was observed. The complexity of task execution procedures contributes to the acceleration of their age transformations (simple visual-motor reaction - ~0.4 ms/year; functional mobility of nervous processes - ~0.68 ms/year; strength of nervous processes - ~1.3 ms/year), leading to a decline in the synchronization degree of speed processes in the pilots' bodies over time. 2. Some psychophysiological characteristics improve with age (number of memory recall errors), which may facilitate the implementation of a compensation mechanism for the deterioration of speed functions and attention concentration necessary for maintaining high professional performance among older pilots. 3. A consistent age-related decrease in mobilization level during task execution was noted (standard deviation during simple visual-motor reaction testing - ~0.38 ms/year), which may act as a regulator for utilizing the functional reserves of older pilots' bodies.

Keywords: psychophysiological functions, military helicopter pilots, simple visual-motor reaction, functional mobility of nervous processes, strength of nervous processes, attention concentration, short-term memory.


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