ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2023, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (1): 22-35.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00022

• Section of Engineering Psychology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of interruption on work performance and the moderating effects of mental fatigue

CHEN Yueyuan1,2, FANG Weining1(), GUO Beiyuan1, BAO Haifeng1   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Rail Traffic Control and Safety, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044, China
    2School of Mechanical, Electronic and Control Engineering, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing100044, China
  • Received:2021-05-28 Published:2023-01-25 Online:2022-10-18
  • Contact: FANG Weining
  • Supported by:
    Beijing Natural Science Foundation Fengtai rail transit frontier research joint fund(l191018)


Task interruptions have an impact on performance after interruption. Exploring the cognitive mechanism of interruption's impact on performance under different fatigue conditions will help improve and develop the cognitive theory of interruption. In this study, combining behavioral data and ERPs results, we analyzed the effect of task interruption on performance and the moderating effect of mental fatigue by performing spatial 2-back tasks with interruption, suspension, and non-interruption under different mental fatigue conditions. The results showed that the amplitudes of P200 and P300 induced by interruption were significantly increased, the attention resources were decreased by interruption, and the irrelevant information of task interruption interfered with the working memory of the primary task. Moreover, the fatigue state further aggravated the negative effects of interruption on attention resources, working memory, and behavior performance. This study reveals the cognitive process of interruption and the mechanism underlying the influence of fatigue on interruption, and supports the memory for goals model.

Key words: work interruption, working memory, attention processing, fatigue