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Title: A neuroscience approach to optimizing brain resources for human performance in extreme environments
Authors: Paulus, M.P.
Potterat, E.G.
Taylor, M.K.
Van Orden, K.F.
Bauman, J.
Momen, N.
Padilla, G.A.
Swain, J.L. 
Keywords: Cognition
Elite athlete
Issue Date: Jul-2009
Citation: Paulus, M.P., Potterat, E.G., Taylor, M.K., Van Orden, K.F., Bauman, J., Momen, N., Padilla, G.A., Swain, J.L. (2009-07). A neuroscience approach to optimizing brain resources for human performance in extreme environments. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 33 (7) : 1080-1088. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Extreme environments requiring optimal cognitive and behavioral performance occur in a wide variety of situations ranging from complex combat operations to elite athletic competitions. Although a large literature characterizes psychological and other aspects of individual differences in performances in extreme environments, virtually nothing is known about the underlying neural basis for these differences. This review summarizes the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral consequences of exposure to extreme environments, discusses predictors of performance, and builds a case for the use of neuroscience approaches to quantify and understand optimal cognitive and behavioral performance. Extreme environments are defined as an external context that exposes individuals to demanding psychological and/or physical conditions, and which may have profound effects on cognitive and behavioral performance. Examples of these types of environments include combat situations, Olympic-level competition, and expeditions in extreme cold, at high altitudes, or in space. Optimal performance is defined as the degree to which individuals achieve a desired outcome when completing goal-oriented tasks. It is hypothesized that individual variability with respect to optimal performance in extreme environments depends on a well "contextualized" internal body state that is associated with an appropriate potential to act. This hypothesis can be translated into an experimental approach that may be useful for quantifying the degree to which individuals are particularly suited to performing optimally in demanding environments. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd.
Source Title: Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
ISSN: 01497634
DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2009.05.003
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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