A Comparative Study of Cognitive Functions among Male and Female Medical Students in a Teaching Hospital of South Kerala
Keywords:Reaction time, Auditory reaction time, Visual reaction time, Critical flicker fusion frequency.
Reaction time (RT) is a measure of the response to a stimulus. RT plays a very important role in our lives as its practical implications may be of great consequences. Factors that can affect the average human RT include age, sex, left or right hand, central versus peripheral vision, practice, fatigue, fasting, breathing cycle, personality types, exercise, and intelligence of the subject.
The Critical Flicker Fusion frequency (CFFF) test provides an index of central nervous system activity or cortical arousal which measures mental arousal and alertness. It is used as an indicator of physical human fatigue, mental work load and cognitive function as well.
The aim was to compare visual reaction time (VRT), auditory reaction time(ART) and critical flicker fusion frequency on the basis of gender.
Materials and Method
The present comparative study was conducted on 100 healthy medical students in age group of 18–24 years. PC 1000Hz reaction timer was used to measure auditory and visual reaction time. The task was to press the key as soon as the stimulus is presented. Three readings of each stimulus were taken, and their average of three RT's for each stimuli were recorded. Statistical analysis was done using independent sample t test. CFFF was measured by indigenous apparatus. Both ascending and descending frequencies are recorded and average of two is taken as CFFF.
In both the sexes’ RT to the auditory stimulus was significantly less (P < 0.001) as compared to the visual stimulus. Significant difference was found between RT of male and female medical students (P < 0.001) and males have quicker reaction time than females. Males have higher CFFF than females, but statistically not significant.
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