A Unified Model of Fatigue in a Cognitive Architecture: Time-of-Day and Time-on-Task Effects on Task Performance

AbstractCapturing the effects of fatigue and, more generally, the effects of physical and mental states on human performance has been a topic of research for many years. Recent models, especially those developed in a cognitive architecture, have shown great promise in capturing these effects by providing insight into the specific cognitive and other components involved in task performance (like perception and motor movement). In particular, separate models have been developed to account for both time-of-day and time-on-task effects related to fatigue. In this paper, we present a novel unified model, developed in the ACT-R cognitive architecture, that captures both time-of-day and time-on-task effects with a single set of mechanisms and parameters. We demonstrate how this unified model accounts for quantitative and qualitative aspects of fatigued performance from two experiments, one focused on time-on-task effects under conditions of moderate fatigue, the other focusing on time-of-day effects under conditions of severe fatigue in a study of long-term (88-hour) sleep deprivation.


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