Sleep deprivation impairs affordance perception behavior during an action boundary accuracy assessment

Connaboy, Christopher
LaGoy, Alice
Johnson, Caleb
Sinnott, Aaron
Eagle, Shawn
Pepping, Gert-Jan
Simpson, Richard
Alfano, Candice
Bower, Joanne L.
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Acta Astronautica
Peer reviewed
Objectives: Astronauts must adapt behaviors to changing affordances (action possibilities) when exposed to operational stressors such as sleep deprivation. The inability to correctly perceive affordances may cause astronauts to attempt behaviors that place them at greater risk. This study investigated the effects of sleep deprivation on affordance perception performance during 30-day NASA Human Exploration Research Analog missions. Methods: Sixteen participants completed a perception-action coupling task (PACT) over days 22-25 of the missions. Participants completed sessions on day 22 (1800) and 24 (1200 and 1730) under normal sleep conditions and sessions on day 25 (0430, 1200 and 1445) after a night of sleep deprivation. During PACT, participants judge whether virtual balls afford posting (can fit) through virtual apertures. The ratio of ball-to-aperture size ranges from 0.2-1.8 (afforded trials <1, unafforded trials >1). A two-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to analyze the effect of time and trial type (afforded versus unafforded) on response time (RST) and accuracy (ACC). Results: For RST, significant main effects of time (F2.666, 39.984 = 7.685, p = .001) and trial type (F1, 15 = 17.554, p = .001) were observed. Afforded RST was greater than unafforded RST. ACC decreased across time (F2.724, 20.939 = 5.137, p = 0.005) but did not differ between trial types. No significant interaction effects were observed. Conclusion: Decrements in affordance-based behaviors were observed under increasing levels of sleep deprivation and subjects responded slower to trials where the task-specific affordance was available. These decrements may relate to changes in operational performance.
The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.
Operational stress, Perception-action coupling, Visuomotor performance, Spaceflight
Connaboy, C., LaGoy, A.D., Johnson, C.D., Sinnott, A.M., Eagle, S.R., Bower, J.L., Pepping, G.J., Simpson, R.J. and Alfano, C.A. (2020) Sleep deprivation impairs affordance perception behavior during an action boundary accuracy assessment. Acta Astronautica, 166, pp. 270-276.
Research Institute
Institute for Psychological Science