ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2023, Vol. 55 ›› Issue (1): 22-35.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2023.00022

• 工程心理学专栏 • 上一篇    下一篇


陈悦源1,2, 方卫宁1(), 郭北苑1, 鲍海峰1   

  1. 1北京交通大学轨道交通控制与安全国家重点实验室
    2北京交通大学机械与电子控制工程学院, 北京 100044
  • 收稿日期:2021-05-28 发布日期:2022-10-13 出版日期:2023-01-25
  • 通讯作者: 方卫宁
  • 基金资助:

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 Online:2022-10-13 Published:2023-01-25
  • Contact: FANG Weining


作业中断会对中断后行为绩效产生影响, 探讨不同疲劳状态下中断对作业绩效影响的认知机制将有助于完善和发展中断的认知理论。本研究采用事件相关电位(ERP), 通过在不同心理疲劳状态下执行数学题任务中断、暂停中断和不中断的空间2-back任务, 结合行为数据和ERPs结果, 分析作业中断对任务绩效的影响以及心理疲劳在其中的调节作用。实验结果发现, 中断后诱发的P200和P300振幅显著提高, 作业中断使得主任务的注意力资源下降, 任务中断的无关信息干扰了主任务工作记忆, 而疲劳状态则进一步加剧了中断对注意资源、工作记忆及行为绩效的负面效应。本研究在揭示作业中断认知过程及疲劳对其影响机理的同时, 也支持了中断的目标记忆模型。

关键词: 作业中断, 工作记忆, 注意加工, 疲劳


Task interruption is known to harm work performance, especially on working memory-related tasks. However, little is known about brain activity patterns during task interruption and the moderating effects of mental fatigue. The impact of work interruption on subsequent behavioral performance is mainly caused by affecting working memory (WM) and attention. Therefore, exploring the mechanisms underlying the impact of interruption on work performance in different fatigue states will improve and contribute to the development of the cognitive theory of interruption.

Combined with behavioral and electrophysiological data, we adopted the event-related potential (ERP) technique to explore the effect of interruption on working memory and the moderating role of fatigue on the interruption process. We designed a 2 (fatigue: fatigue, nonfatigue) × 2 (task type: task interruption, suspension interruption) × 2 (trial type: before interruption, after interruption) within-group design and added a noninterrupted baseline task as the control condition. The study randomly selected 20 healthy participants to perform spatial 2-back tasks in different fatigue states in various interruption conditions (math problem task interruption, suspension interruption and noninterrupted). A continuous performance test (AX-CPT) was used to induce fatigue before the fatigue session.

The behavioral data showed that accuracy in the primary task was reduced, and response time was increased after interruption. The behavioral performance decline in the primary tasks in the fatigue state was more significant than that in the nonfatigue state. ERP results showed that the P200 and P300 amplitudes induced by the 2-back task significantly increased after interruption. The P200 latency in the fatigue state was significantly shorter than that in the nonfatigue state; the latency with task interruption was longer than that with suspension interruption; and the latency after interruption trials was significantly longer than that before interruption trials. The P300 amplitude in the frontal lobe in the fatigue state was lower than that in the nonfatigue state. The amplitude difference between trials after interruption was more significant in the fatigue state than in the nonfatigue state. In addition, the P300 amplitude induced by task interruption was significantly higher than that induced by suspension interruption, while the same effect did not appear in the nonfatigue state.

In conclusion, work interruption caused a decrease in the attention resources available for the primary task after the interruption. The irrelevant information in the task interruption interfered with primary task performance (working memory task), and the fatigue state further aggravated the negative effect of the interruption on working memory and attention. This research revealed the cognitive process underlying task interruption, identified the effects of fatigue and supported the memory for goals model of interruption.

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