The cardiovascular system reactions at the fulfillment of the combined Stroop test by participants of Joint Forces Operation (JFO)

T. Kutsenko, A. Pohrebna, D. Nasiedkin, V. Loza, I. Pampuha, M. Makarchuk


Introduction. Military with post-traumatic stress disorder have a high probability of development of diseases of the cardiac system. It is important to investigate the cardiovascular system reactions of supposedly healthy participants in combat operations to the cognitive load fulfillment of complex Stroop test.

Purpose. The aim of research was to estimate the effect of cognitive load during fulfillment of the combined Stroop test on the state of the cardiovascular system (by the indices of ECG and heart rate variability) for the participants of Joint Forces Operation (ATO).

Methods. The study involved 13 participants of Joint Forces Operation (ATO). Stimuli (the word "Green" or "Red", "Blue" or "Yellow" written in relevant or irrelevant color) were exposed on the right or left from the center of the screen. In the case of congruence the word and its semantic meaning should press one button by the ipsilateral hand ("yes"), while in the case of mismatch – the other button by the contralateral one ("no"). There were used two tests. In Test 1 there were exposed 160 stimulus, while in the Test 2 – 400 stimulus. Test 1 was needed for veteran’s understanding the algorithm of the test. The latent periods of reaction (LP) and the number of errors were recorded.

Results. As a result of the correlation analysis of the LP of reactions with measured cardiological parameters, those of them that had statistically significant correlations with LP of reactions, were selected and a factor model based on them was constructed. The obtained data indicate the high sensitivity of the integral index of ST-T (II) and its components (ST segment shift and T wave amplitude) to the change in the functional state of the subjects, reflecting the tension of the myocardium, and also confirm the special role of the left hemisphere in the formation of psycho emotional stress in execution of cognitive load.

Originality. In this research was analyzed a wide range of cardiological parameters and connections of heart rate variability indices with the combined Stroop test parameters (by the original method), which allows to evaluate the interhemispheric interaction. The influence of the cognitive load on the myocardium functional state is demonstrated on the basis of factor model. The integral indicator ST-T allocated as the main cognitive stress marker.

Conclusion. Completing tasks that require long-term attention with simultaneously involving two signaling systems and interhemispheric transmission of information, have the greatest impact on the functional state of the myocardium, namely – causing an increase in tension of the heart muscle. The ST-T interval analysis is used in medicine for the diagnosis of coronary heart disease. We assume that the concentration on the correctness and speed of the task fulfillment by participants of Joint Forces Operation (ATO) affects the reserve function of the myocardium, and in the future may become a prerequisite for the development of cardiovascular system disorders.


task of Stroop; integral indicator ST-T; combat veterans; extreme conditions


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