Effect of passive hyperthermia on working memory resources during simple and complex cognitive tasks

Journal article


Gaoua, N, Herrera, CP, Periard, JD, El massioui, F and Racinais, S (2018). Effect of passive hyperthermia on working memory resources during simple and complex cognitive tasks. Frontiers in Psychology. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02290
AuthorsGaoua, N, Herrera, CP, Periard, JD, El massioui, F and Racinais, S
Abstract

The aim of this study was to verify the hypothesis that hyperthermia represents a cognitive load limiting available resources for executing concurrent cognitive tasks. Electroencephalographic activity (EEG: alpha and theta power) was obtained in 10 hyperthermic participants in HOT (50°C, 50% RH) conditions and in a normothermic state in CON (25°C, 50% RH) conditions in counterbalanced order. In each trial, EEG was measured over the frontal lobe prior to task engagement in each condition (PRE) and during simple (OTS-4) and complex (OTS-6) cognitive tasks. Core (39.5 ± 0.5 vs. 36.9 ± 0.2ºC) and mean skin (39.06 ± 0.3 vs. 31.6 ± 0.6ºC) temperatures were significantly higher in HOT than CON (P<0.005). Theta power significantly increased with task demand (p=0.017, η2=0.36) and was significantly higher in HOT than CON (p=0.041, η2=0.39). The difference between HOT and CON was large (η2=0.40) and significant (p=0.036) PRE, large (η2=0.20) but not significant (p=0.17) during OTS-4, and disappeared during OTS-6 (p=0.87, η2=0.00). Those changes in theta power suggest that hyperthermia may act as an additional cognitive load. However, this load disappeared during OTS-6 together with an impaired performance, suggesting a potential saturation of the available resources.

KeywordsEEG; Hyperthermia; task complexity; cognitive task; overload
Year2018
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
PublisherFrontiers Media
ISSN1664-1078
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02290
Publication dates
Print18 Jan 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited03 Jan 2018
Accepted18 Dec 2017
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Copyright © 2018 Gaoua, Herrera, Périard, El Massioui and Racinais. This is an
open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution
License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted,
provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original
publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice.
No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these
terms.

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