In the world of elite sport, cognitive performance is considered as important as physical performance. With challenges such as sleep loss and travel impacting elite athletes, cognitive performance can often be negatively affected.
The 10-min Psychomotor Vigilance Test (PVT-10) is regarded as the gold-standard for assessing vigilant attention following sleep loss. However, researchers from the University of Western Australia’s School of Human Sciences recently examined whether shorter versions of the test elicit similar results to the PVT-10.
Using elite female basketballers as the test subjects, researchers, including lead author Maddison Jones, compared the PVT-10 with 3-min (PVT-3) and 5-min (PVT-5) versions of the test.
The PVT-3 elicited significantly faster response speeds than the other two tests (p < 0.01), while the PVT-5 and PVT-10 were not different. The PVT-10 resulted in more lapses than the PVT-5, followed by the PVT-3, with all tests being significantly different to each other (p < 0.01).
The study results concluded that despite some similarities, the three versions of the PVT (3, 5 and 10 min) produced different results for number of lapses, errors and response speed, indicating that the tests should not be used interchangeably. Future research using tablet-based PVTs is required to determine which test is most suitable to measure vigilant performance in professional basketball players.
At present, the PVT-10 will remain the gold-standard for monitoring attention following sleep loss for elite athletes.
A link to the research paper can be found here.
Graduate Officer, UWA Sport Marketing, Communication and Events