Effects of Hydration on Cognitive Function of Pilots

Examining the effect of fluid intake and possible dehydration on cognitive flight performance of pilots was the objective of this study. In order to examine differences in working memory, spatial orientation, and cognitive flight performance of 40 randomly selected healthy pilots after having high and low fluid intakes, a repeated-measures, counterbalanced, mixed study design was used. In order to determine differences in cognitive flight performance of the dehydrated (1-3% weight loss) and hydrated study participants, serial weights were also analyzed. Flight performance and spatial cognition test scores were significantly (<I>p</I> < 0.05) poorer for pilots who had low fluid intakes and experienced dehydration in comparison to the hydrated pilots, as shown by the results. Because peak cognitive performance among pilots is critical for flight safety, these findings indicate fluid intake differences resulting in dehydration may have safety implications.


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  • Accession Number: 01488676
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 26 2013 4:33PM