The effects of atropine sulfatge on aviator performance. Final Report
The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of atropine sulfate on pilot performance, as measured in a flight simulator, and to investigate physiological correlates of this effect. The six dependent measures of flying the simulator using standard instrument procedures indicated the significant effect§. of atropine and the time course of the effects. A monotonic increase in the effects of atropineý was found between the 0.5 and the 4.0 mng levels of atropine. The most significant effect was due to the 4.0 mg level. For the Sternberg secondary task, reaction time and accuracy showed no atropine effectgs. Mean heart period (MHP', heart period variance (HPV), and V (RSA amplitude) showed the effects of atropine sulfatp and the time course of the effect. It was concluded that the 4.0 mg level of atropine produced significant performance decrements and increased the risk of error when performing complex pilot tasks. The performance effects were found to lag the physiological effects. Operational implications of the time lag were discussed.