Acute effects of meals, noise and nightwork


MRC Perceptual and Cognitive Performance Unit, Laboratory of Experimental Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QG, UK

Department of Applied Psychology, UWIST, Llwyn-y-Grant, Penylan, Cardiff CF3 7UX


An experimental study of the acute effects of meals, noise and nightwork showed that there was a post-meal impairment in detection of targets in a cognitive vigilance task. This was found both during the day and at night, although certain features of the results suggested that the day and night effects were not equivalent. Noise increased the number of false alarms but reduced the post-meal impairment in hit rate. Subjects with low levels of trait or state anxiety showed the greatest post-lunch impairments in performance, but this effect was reduced when the meal was eaten at night.