Vigilance, alertness, or sustained attention: physiological basis and measurement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

328 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Vigilance is a term with varied definitions but the most common usage is sustained attention or tonic alertness. This usage of vigilance implies both the degree of arousal on the sleep-wake axis and the level of cognitive performance. There are many interacting neural and neurotransmitter systems that affect vigilance. Most studies of vigilance have relied on states where the sleep-wake state is altered, e.g. drowsiness, sleep-deprivation, and CNS-active drugs, but there are factors ranging from psychophysics to motivation that may impact vigilance. While EEG is the most commonly studied physiologic measure of vigilance, various measures of eye movement and of autonomic nervous system activity have also been used. This review paper discusses the underlying neural basis of vigilance and its assessment using physiologic tools. Since, assessment of vigilance requires assessment of cognitive function this aspect is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1885-1901
Number of pages17
JournalClinical Neurophysiology
Volume117
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2006

Fingerprint

Sleep
Psychophysics
Sleep Deprivation
Sleep Stages
Autonomic Nervous System
Eye Movements
Arousal
Cognition
Neurotransmitter Agents
Motivation
Electroencephalography
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Keywords

  • Arousal
  • Attention
  • Cognition
  • EEG
  • Evoked potentials
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Vigilance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

Vigilance, alertness, or sustained attention : physiological basis and measurement. / Oken, Barry; Salinsky, Martin; Elsas, S. M.

In: Clinical Neurophysiology, Vol. 117, No. 9, 09.2006, p. 1885-1901.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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