The University of Greifswald is a public research university located in Greifswald, Germany, in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.Founded in 1456 , it is one of the oldest universities in Europe, with generations of notable alumni and staff having studied or worked in Greifswald. As the fourth-oldest university in present Germany, it was temporarily also the oldest university of the Kingdoms of Sweden and Prussia , respectively. Approximately two thirds of the 12,000 students are from outside the state. Due to the small-town atmosphere, the pronounced architectural presence of the alma mater across town, and the young, academic flair in the streets, Greifswald is often described as a "university with a town built around it" rather than a town with a university. Wikipedia.
PubMed | University of Greifswald
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Neuroreport | Year: 2016
Prolonged periods of demanding cognitive tasks lead to an exhausted feeling known as mental fatigue. The neural underpinnings of mental fatigue are still under exploration. In the present study, we aimed to identify neurophysiological indicators of mental fatigue by studying the time-frequency distribution of the event-related potentials (ERPs) measured in N=26 adults in nonfatigued versus fatigued states. We were interested in the frontal theta and occipital alpha variations, which have shown consistent relationships with mental fatigue in previous studies. Furthermore, we expected differential changes in left and right electrodes, in line with previously detected lateralization effects in cognitive tasks. Mental fatigue was induced by a sustained two-back verbal visual memory task for 125min and assessed using the Chalder Fatigue Scale. We applied a high-resolution time-frequency analysis method called smoothed pseudo Wigner Ville distribution and used regional integrals as indicators for changing trends of signal energy. Results showed an increase in ERP frontal theta energy (P=0.03) and a decrease in occipital alpha energy (P=0.028) when participants became mentally fatigued. The change in frontal theta was more pronounced in left electrode sites (P=0.032), hinting toward a differential fatigue effect in the two hemispheres. The results were discussed on the basis of previous lateralization studies with memory tasks and interpreted as an indicator of a causal relationship between the sustained task execution and the physiological changes. Our findings also suggest that the ERP signal energy variations in frontal theta and occipital alpha might be used as neural biomarkers to assess mental fatigue.