A critical review of the psychophysiology of driver fatigue

  • Published: Biological Psychology, 55 (3), 173-194 (2001)
  • Authors: Lal, S.K. and Craig, A.
  • Date Added: 28 Dec 2013
  • Last Update: 28 Dec 2013
  • Format: pdf


Utilize EEG changes during fatigue for development of fatigue countermeasure software and to test the ability of such software in detecting fatigue.


On-line monitoring of physiological signals while driving. EEG was obtained in twenty truck drivers during a driver simulator task till subjects fatigued. Changes found in delta, theta, alpha and beta activity were used to develop algorithms for the software.

Key Findings:

  • EEG delta increased during early fatigue in professionals more so than in non-professionals.

  • Theta and alpha increased in professionals only.

  • During medium fatigue, theta increased in both groups.

  • Alpha increased in professional drivers in both the medium and extreme phases and in non-professionals in the extreme phase, while beta increased most in the medium phase.


Fatigue neurophysiology, physiological signals, countermeasures, software, simulator tasks, truck drivers, delta, theta, alpha, beta


This was not a sleep deprivation study so subjects were not sleep deprived prior to the study. The results of this study are discussed in light of driver fatigue management and developing a fatigue countermeasure device.