Abstract: Electroencephalographic (EEG) and neurocognitive measures were simultaneously acquired to quantify alertness from 24 participants during 44-hours of sleep deprivation.
Performance on a three-choice vigilance task (3C-VT), paired-associate learning/memory task (PAL) and modified Maintenance of Wakefulness Test (MWT), and sleep technician-observed drowsiness (eye-closures, head-nods, EEG slowing) were quantified. The B-Alert? system automatically classifies each second of EEG on an alertness/drowsiness continuum. B-Alert classifications were significantly correlated with technician-observations, visually scored EEG and performance measures. B-Alert classifications during 3C-VT, and technician observations and performance during the 3C-VT and PAL evidenced progressively increasing drowsiness as a result of sleep deprivation with a stabilizing effect observed at the batteries occurring between 0600 and 1100 suggesting a possible circadian effect similar to those reported in previous sleep deprivation studies. Participants were given an opportunity to take a 40-minute nap approximately 24-hours into the sleep deprivation portion of the study (i.e., 7 PM on Saturday). The nap was followed by a transient period of increased alertness. Approximately 8 hours after the nap, behavioral and physiological measures of drowsiness returned to levels prior to the nap. Cluster analysis was used to stratify individuals into three groups based on their level of impairment as a result of sleep deprivation. The combination of B-Alert and neuro-behavioral measures may identify individuals whose performance is most susceptible to sleep deprivation. These objective measures could be applied in an operational setting to provide a “biobehavioral assay” to determine vulnerability to sleep deprivation.
Berka, C., Levendowski, D. et al. (2005). EEG Quantification of Alertness: Methods for Early Identification of Individuals Most Susceptible to Sleep Deprivation. Proceedings of SPIE Defense and Security Symposium, Biomonitoring for Physiological and Cognitive Performance during Military Operations, Orlando, FL, SPIE: The International Society for Optical Engineering.