Mental fatigue is often characterized by reduced motivation for effortful activity and impaired task performance. We used subjective, behavioral (performance), and psychophysiological (P3, pupil diameter) measures during an n-back task to investigate the link between mental fatigue and task disengagement. After 2 h, we manipulated the rewards to examine a possible reengagement effect. Analyses showed that, with increasing fatigue and time-on-task, performance, P3 amplitude, and pupil diameter decreased. After increasing the rewards, all measures reverted to higher levels. Multilevel analysis revealed positive correlations between the used measures with time-on-task. We interpret these results as support for a strong link between task disengagement and mental fatigue.
Keywords: Fatigue; Motivation; P3; Pupil diameter; Task engagement.
© 2014 Society for Psychophysiological Research.