Neurophysiological and neuropsychological monitoring of fatigue during extreme environmental and driving conditions

A. Moglia, M. Mauri, E. Alfonsi, V. Coblesano, A. Lozza, E. Sinforiani, G. Bono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim of the present study was to evaluate the modifications of neurophysiological and neuropsychological variables during extreme environmental and driving conditions. Eight subjects (four drivers and four passengers) were evaluated while driving a four wheels drive across the Big West Algerian Erg. The following procedures were carried out in basal conditions and at the end of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th day of driving: surface EMG of masseter and cervical para-spinal muscles during maximum isometric contraction lasting 12 sec; test of simple visual and acoustic reaction times, Cancellation test, Trail Making test. As from the second day, the drivers used appropriate dental plates. In the drivers, EMG spectrum analysis revealed a significant decrease in mean frequency values at the end of the 1st day. This finding was more relevant in masseter muscles. No significant fatigue phenomena were detected on the subsequent controls. On the contrary, the passengers showed a decrease in mean EMG frequency values. No significant modifications in the cognitive variables were detected at the end of the 1st day (initial response to stress), whereas a progressive worsening was observed in the subsequent evaluations. EMG fatigue of masseter muscles seems to be more related to psychic stress. The beneficial effects of the dental plates were also confirmed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalElectromyography and Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997


  • attentive functions
  • extreme driving conditions
  • fatigue
  • surface EMG

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology


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