Momentary lapse of control: A cognitive continuum approach to understanding and mitigating perseveration in human error
Hodgetts, Helen M.
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Everyday complex and stressful real-life situations can overwhelm the human brain to an extent that the person is no longer able to accurately evaluate the situation and persists in irrational actions or strategies. Safety analyses reveal that such perseverative behavior is exhibited by operators in many critical domains, which can lead to potentially fatal incidents. There are neuroimaging evidences of changes in healthy brain functioning when engaged in non-adaptive behaviors that are akin to executive deficits such as perseveration shown in patients with brain lesion. In this respect, we suggest a cognitive continuum whereby stressors can render the healthy brain temporarily impaired. We show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is a key structure for executive and attentional control whereby any transient (stressors, neurostimulation) or permanent (lesion) impairment compromises adaptive behavior. Using this neuropsychological insight, we discuss solutions involving training, neurostimulation, and the design of cognitive countermeasures for mitigating perseveration.
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews;
Article accepted for publication in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
AXA Research Fund through the Neuroergonomics For Safety Chair (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)
Discovery Grant (ISAE-SUPAERO)