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Psychomotor vigilance task

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The Psychomotor Vigilance Task[1] (hereafter ‘PVT’) is a chronometric measure of an individual’s readiness to detect and respond to certain specified small changes in a labile environment, conceptualised pragmatically within a visio-reactive framework. Quantitative dependent variables involve omission and commission errors, reflecting fluctuations in endogenous cognitive condition.

The PVT was championed by Prof Dinges and popularised by its ease of scoring, simple metrics, and convergent validity.


  1. 1
  • Dinges, D. I, & Powell, J. W. (1985). Microcomputer analysis of performance on a portable, simple visual RT task sustained operations. Behavioral Research Methods, Instrumentation, and Computers, 17, 652-655.

External linksEdit

A Free computer-based version of the PVT is available as part of the PEBL Test Battery

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