A comparison of task-based mental fatigue between healthy males and females
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Background: The issue of cognitive sex differences has been a topic of interest for researchers for several decades. The present study investigated the relatively new area of sex differences in mental fatigue. Methods: Mental fatigue was evaluated via a modified visual analogue mood scale (VAMS) and Activation Deactivation Adjective Checklist (AD-ACL) before and after a task designed to induce mental fatigue. The participants performed a reaction time task in three blocks of 17 min, without any rest time between the blocks. Results: Mental fatigue increased after each 17-min block for both sexes with no significant differences between males and females (P = .54). Females had slower reaction time within the first block but slightly faster reaction time within the second and third blocks (P ≤ .001). Conclusion: Although no significant differences in mental fatigue between male and female groups were found, the results may suggest that task unfamiliarity had a more negative influence on reaction times in females than males.
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