Backup mandate Research Council: Underlying factors in the responsiveness to Mental Fatigue: what can interindividual differences tell us?

Project Details


Mental fatigue (MF) can be defined as “a psychobiological state that arises during prolonged demanding cognitive activity and results in acute feelings of tiredness and/or a decreased performance
capacity”. It impairs different types of human performance throughout the general population. Recent research has suggested that some factors affect the interindividual response to MF (age and sex). However, not only has no project investigated these claims,
traditional MF research often displays questionable approaches (no relevant brain measurements, small subject groups). The general aim of my project is to assess the presence of interindividual differences
in the established effect of MF on performance, to evaluate the robustness of these differences over time and to analyse possible factors that could underlie the existence of these interindividual differences. This will primarily be done by performing two large experimental studies where I will investigate the effect of different factors on MF-related decrements in performance, which will also feature state-of-the-art measures (brain imaging and genetic analysis). Not only will this project negate some researchers’ doubts surrounding the effect of MF on human performance, the knowledge of possible influencing factors combined with state-of-the-art measures will greatly improve our understanding of MF and its mechanisms. This can in turn lead to more applied interventions to combat MF in both healthy and diseased populations.
Effective start/end date1/11/2131/10/22


  • mental fatigue
  • interindividual differences
  • human performance

Flemish discipline codes

  • Exercise physiology
  • Sports sciences
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Sports psychology
  • Cognitive processes