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Title: Physiological and Cognitive Factors Related to Human Performance During the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Hike

Exposure to extreme environments is both mentally and physically taxing, leading to suboptimal performance and even life-threatening emergencies. Physiological and cognitive monitoring could provide the earliest indicator of performance decline and inform appropriate therapeutic intervention, yet little research has explored the relationship between these markers in strenuous settings. The Rim-to-Rim Wearables at the Canyon for Health (R2RWATCH) study is a research project at Sandia National Laboratories funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to identify which physiological and cognitive phenomena collected by non-invasive wearable devices are the most related to performance in extreme environments. In a pilot study, data were collected from civilians and military warfighters hiking the Rim-to-Rim trail at the Grand Canyon. Each participant wore a set of devices collecting physiological, cognitive, and environmental data such as heart rate, memory, ambient temperature, etc. Promising preliminary results found correlates between physiological markers recorded by the wearable devices and decline in cognitive abilities, although further work is required to refine those measurements. Planned follow-up studies will validate these findings and further explore outstanding questions.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
  2. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
SAND2017-12213J; SAND-2017-1481J
Journal ID: ISSN 2327-2937; 658631
Grant/Contract Number:
NA0003525; CB10359; AC04-94AL85000
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 14; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2327-2937
Purdue University
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Sandia National Lab. (SNL-CA), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; physiological markers; cognitive markers; human performance; Grand Canyon
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1421626