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Sleep and Performance Research Center

Simulated Hazardous Operational Tasks

Bryan Vila, Ph.D.

AREAS OF INTEREST

Police fatigue, shift work, justice and human performance, interdisciplinary research methods, translating sleep research into practice as well as the evolution of culture and cross-cultural policing

RESEARCH SCOPE

Fatigue associated with shift work, sleep loss, and long work hours is pervasive among police and other first responders, military ground forces, and other high-risk occupations. Fatigue tends to degrade the performance, safety, and health of these groups in ways that increase hazards to both operators and bystanders and noncombatants. My research characterizes these risks using novel approaches to measuring performance—many of which rely on high-fidelity computer simulation and development of precision metrics. Based on these results, I assess the policy implications, then disseminate results to policy makers, executives, labor leaders, and operators. I also develop fatigue countermeasures and training devices and techniques to help high-risk operational groups reduce risks and evaluate the impact of policy changes, training, and other countermeasures.

RESEARCH FOCUS

Effects of fatigue associated with shift-work on performance, safety, and health
I focus on the relationship between operational fatigue and performance on the most critical and hazardous job tasks of police officers, military personnel, and other shift-working populations with high-risk, high-consequence duties. I am particularly interested in understanding and quantifying how fatigue due to shift work and sleep restriction leads to performance deficits on simulated hazardous tasks such as deadly force judgment and decision making, tactical social interaction, and patrol driving. Understanding the prevalence and impact of operational fatigue within these populations makes it possible to create fatigue risk-management strategies that help build resilience and reduce the risk of performance decrements and chronic health issues.

STAFF AND TRAINEES

Dr. Stephen James, PhD (Laboratory manager)

TECHNIQUES USED

High fidelity laboratory simulation of critical operational tasks
Custom metric development using concept mapping and Thurstone scaling
Actigraphy
Cognitive testing
Field evaluations

GRANT SUPPORT

  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE (DOD):
    Office of Naval Research (ONR), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Defense Secretary of Defense/Domestic Preparedness Support Initiative (SecDef/DPSI), Army Research Office (ARO)
  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ):
    National institute of Justice (NIJ), Community Oriented Policing Services office (COPS)
  • U.S. NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH (NIH):
    National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Heart, Lung and Blood institute (NHLBI)
  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION:
    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE (RCMP),
  • CALIFORNIA COMMISSION ON POLICE OFFICER STANDARDS AND TRAINING (CalPost)
  • SHERIFFS ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS (SAT)
  • PACIFIC MUTUAL FOUNDATION

PUBLICATIONS

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov