Comparison of cognitive and psychomotor performance across gender in hyperbaric and simulated hyperbaric conditions

Jennings, Julia M. (2004) Comparison of cognitive and psychomotor performance across gender in hyperbaric and simulated hyperbaric conditions. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

In this thesis the effects of nitrogen gas narcosis on cognitive and psychomotor performance were examined with respect to gender. Six male and six female participants were each tested at surface pressures breathing air, in a hyperbaric chamber simulating either a depth of 60ft and or a depth of 165 fsw. In a second study participants were tested at a surface pressure of 1 ATmosphere Absolute (ATA) breathing a 30% normoxic nitrous oxide mixture. In study 1 cognition was evaluated using a simple arithmetic test, a modified Stroop test and a number comparison test. These 3 tests of cognition plus a recognition memory test were employed in study 2. Psychomotor performance was evaluated in both studies using a matrices drawing test and a modified Purdue peg-board test. The results illustrated the effects of nitrogen narcosis were not evident for all cognitive tests employed. In both studies, with the exception of the recognition memory test, females performed as well or better than males for these cognitive and psychomotor tests. Females at 1 ATA breathing a 30% normoxic nitrous oxide had significantly lower (p=0.001) memory scores than males but this may have been due to a pre-existing difference in the sample. In conclusion, during actual or simulated nitrogen narcosis, the evidence collected supported little effect of gender on cognitive and psychomotor performance during narcosis.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/10736
Item ID: 10736
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references.
Department(s): Human Kinetics and Recreation, School of
Date: 2004
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Deep diving--Physiological aspects; Hyperbaric chambers; Inert gas narcosis.

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