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.

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Psychophysiology: an international journal
Department of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Hopstaken, J.F, van der Linden, D, Bakker, A.B, & Kompier, M.A.J. (2015). A multifaceted investigation of the link between mental fatigue and task disengagement. Psychophysiology: an international journal, 52(3), 305–315. doi:10.1111/psyp.12339