The Neuromodulative Effects of Tiredness and Mental Fatigue on Cognition and the Use of Medication

José León-Carrión, Umberto León Domínguez, Maria del Rosario Domínguez-Morales

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Fatigue is defined by means of subjective and neurophysiological deficits that vary as a function of time and workload. Cognitive load and task difficulty mediate fatigue. Performance deficits normally demonstrate evidence of fatigue and awareness of mental effort, although overt deficits may not be a consequence of fatigue, as increased efforts normally compensate the decline of mental resources. Subjective mental fatigue leads to increased mental effort, impaired learning and stress. Neurophysiological mechanisms affecting mental fatigue include homeostatic and circadian components of fatigue. One example is the dopamine system. Mental fatigue provokes significant changes in the brain, altering the glutamate network, particularly in challenging situations, including chronic pain and neurodegenerative disease. Coping with fatigue often requires pharmaceutical measures to maintain, or even restore, operative cognitive functions. We review fatigue and tiredness management strategies, the use of hypnotic and other drugs, short and long-term efficacy of drugs and recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neuroergonomics and Cognitive Engineering - Proceedings of the AHFE 2019 International Conference on Neuroergonomics and Cognitive Engineering, and the AHFE International Conference on Industrial Cognitive Ergonomics and Engineering Psychology, 2019
EditorsHasan Ayaz
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
ISSN (Print)2194-5357
ISSN (Electronic)2194-5365

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Computer Science


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