Abstract

Fatigue is such a multifaceted construct it has sprouted specific research fields and experts in domains as different as exercise physiology, cognitive psychology, human factors and engineering, and medical practice. It lacks a consensus definition: it is an experimental concept, a symptom, a risk, a cause (e.g., of performance decrement) and a consequence (e.g., of sleep deprivation). This fragmentation of knowledge leads to slower dissemination of novel insights, and thus to a poorer research. Indeed, what may seem as a novel result in one field, may very well be old news in another, hence leading to this "innovation" being a scientific equivalent to the emperor's new clothes. The current paper aims to describe the common denominator in the different areas of expertise where fatigue is investigated. Indeed, rather than focusing on the differences in semantics and conceptualization, we hope that identifying common concepts may be inductive of easier multidisciplinary research. Considering the vastness of fatigue research in all areas identified as relevant-cognitive science, exercise physiology, and medical practice, this analysis has not the ambition to be an exhaustive review in all domains. We have reviewed the fatigue concepts and research in these areas and report the ones that are used to describe the proposed common model to be further investigated. The most promising common feature to cognitive science, exercise physiology and clinical practice is the notion of "perceived effort." This allows to account for interindividual differences, as well as for the situational variations in fatigue. It is applicable to both mental and physical constructs. It integrates motivational and emotional dimensions. It overcomes current polemics in various research fields, and it does not draw on any semantic ambiguity. We thus suggest a new model of fatigue and performance, whether this performance is mental or physical; and whether it is in a clinical range or relates to optimal functioning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1246
Pages (from-to)1246-1246
Number of pages1
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume9
Issue numberSEP
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Cognitive fatigue
  • Effortful control
  • Exercise tolerance
  • Fatigue
  • Performance
  • Sleep disorders

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Bridging Exercise Science, Cognitive Psychology, and Medical Practice: Is "Cognitive Fatigue" a Remake of "The Emperor's New Clothes"?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this