SCUBA diving involves complex processes such as decision making, memory, motor coordination, and spatial orientation. Given that human error has been attributed to nearly 90% of diving incidents, it is plausible that some scuba diving activities can use up mental resources and increase accident risk. Divers are also susceptible to numerous factors that affect cognition such as fatigue, dehydration, physical exertion, environmental conditions (e.g. water temperature, sea state) and dive profiles (e.g. breathing gas mixes, immersion duration).
This study aims to explore the effects of SCUBA diving on cognitive function, specifically with regards to attention, decision-making, and visual scanning and tracking with relationship to subjective fatigue levels. The subjects recruited include lobster divers participating in Florida’s annual lobster-mini season as well as various lionfish tournaments that occur throughout the year.