The effects of long term mental arithmetic task on psychology are investigated by subjective self-reporting measures and action performance test. Based on electroencephalogram (EEG) and heart rate variability (HRV), the impacts of prolonged cognitive activity on central nervous system and autonomic nervous system are observed and analyzed. Wavelet packet parameters of EEG and power spectral indices of HRV are combined to estimate the change of mental fatigue. Then wavelet packet parameters of EEG which change significantly are extracted as the features of brain activity in different mental fatigue state, support vector machine (SVM) algorithm is applied to differentiate two mental fatigue states. The experimental results show that long term mental arithmetic task induces the mental fatigue. The wavelet packet parameters of EEG and power spectral indices of HRV are strongly correlated with mental fatigue. The predominant activity of autonomic nervous system of subjects turns to the sympathetic activity from parasympathetic activity after the task. Moreover, the slow waves of EEG increase, the fast waves of EEG and the degree of disorder of brain decrease compared with the pre-task. The SVM algorithm can effectively differentiate two mental fatigue states, which achieves the maximum classification accuracy (91%). The SVM algorithm could be a promising tool for the evaluation of mental fatigue.
Fatigue, especially mental fatigue, is a common phenomenon in modern life, is a persistent occupational hazard for professional. Mental fatigue is usually accompanied with a sense of weariness, reduced alertness, and reduced mental performance, which would lead the accidents in life, decrease productivity in workplace and harm the health. Therefore, the evaluation of mental fatigue is important for the occupational risk protection, productivity, and occupational health.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.