Natural Calamities and It’s Cognitive Function

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This is no surprise when it is found that the victims of natural disaster experience anxiety and stress, but as per a new study there are some additions made to this hypothesis. The new research says that these victims not only suffer from depression and anxiety but they also make many errors in regular life of which many errors are very serious. The researchers James Head and William S. Helton discovered how the cognitive performance of an individual declines after the natural disaster like earthquake. Previous research shows that increased rates of travel accidents and fatalities occur after the human made disasters like terrorist attacks. The reason behind the increased rates is the cognitive impairment.

This cognitive impairment results in mounting levels of depression and increase in disturbing thoughts. Till then no study was incorporated on the impacts of natural disasters on the cognitive performances. But after the massive earthquake in the year 2010, the researchers were given an opportunity to conduct a study on the performance of humans after the occurrence of natural disasters. They conducted the study in two sessions. Amid the two sessions, they had substantial local earthquakes which presented in an opportunity for them to study the impact on cognitive performance. They rapidly seized the opportunity and measured the cognitive control of the participants.

The researchers conducted an experiment and found that the performance of the participants improved in the second session but there was an augmented level in error rate following the earthquake. The researchers also made a point that there was distinction in pre and post-earthquake results. If the individuals reported suffering from anxiety after the earthquake, their response time paced and they committed errors of commission. But those individuals who reported undergoing depression showed much slower response times. Hence the studies proved that individuals found themselves making many errors than usual following the earthquake.



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