REPERTORY SINUS ARRHYTHMIA USAGE TO DETERMINE DIFFERENCES IN MENTAL EFFORT BETWEEN OVERT AND COVERT MODES OF THE TOWER OF LONDON PROBLEM-SOLVING TASK
Iris Rivera, Dana Byrd, Nadia Sherman.
Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX.
The Tower of London (TOL) task has been used to measure both pre-planning and problem solving abilities, both of which are key to cognitive processes needed to effectively perform on a daily basis. In this study, we want to investigate whether or not an individual’s amplitude of physical fitness has an impact on both their cognitive effort as well as their respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), which is the variation of the heart rate while an individual performs a task that requires a higher level of cognitive processes. Our target population is college-aged students from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. Participants will have their RSA recorded and analyzed while solving 2 different computerized interpretations of the TOL. The first interpretation will involve the physical drag and drop motion of a computer mouse with 3 colored balls presented in the TOL. In particular, this interpretation is referred to as “covert”. Alternatively, the second interpretation of the TOL will be the individual’s optimal mental movement of the 3 colored balls that are presented in the TOL. Regarding this interpretation of the TOL, it is referred to as “overt”. These 2 interpretations of the TOL will be implicated with multiple difficulties that will require different forms of executive functions. The results are still in the stages of pilot testing and our conclusions are still pending.