Changes in Reaction Times and Executive Decision-Making following Exposure to Waterborne Motion
Shattuck, Nita Lewis
Shattuck, Lawrence G.
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A unique mission of the U.S. Marine Corps is the amphibious assault landing. These missions require transportation by small watercraft, exposing Marines to waterborne motion before landing. The timeliness and accuracy of their decisions once the Marines debark may well determine the outcome of an entire operation. This study assesses how warfighters’ performance is affected following exposure to waterborne motion in an amphibious vehicle. Sixty-one Marines were evaluated in four conditions: following one, two and three-hour exposures to waterborne motion and following a two-hour period in a stationary vehicle. Testing included performance on an obstacle course, a marksmanship course, and a cognitive test battery. Self-reported motion sickness levels were also assessed. Results showed no differences on the marksmanship and obstacle course performance. However, after two and three hours of waterborne motion exposure, Marines experienced reduced response times and poorer executive decision making as measured using the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metric.
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