Diurnal Variations And Weekly Pattern Of Cognitive Performances İn Tunisian Children
 
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of time of day and day of test on cognitive performances in Tunisian children in terms of constant attention (CA) and choice reaction time (RT). The protocol involved 132 children who performed two cognitive tasks, a choice reaction-test, and the barrage test (measuring the CA), at 09:00, 11:00, 14:00 and 16:00 h, over six days of the week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday). Resting oral temperature was measured at the beginning of each test session. The results showed significant time-of-day effects with both tests and also core temperature with best performances for the choice RT and highest core temperatures at 16:00 h, and best performances for the CA observed at 09:00 h. In addition, our results displayed significant day of test effect on both cognitive performances with best scores in the middle (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) of the week and worst scores in the beginning (Monday) and the end of the week (Friday and Saturday). However, the profiles of the rhythms of core temperatures and cognitive performances were not the same. Therefore, school activities that involve new learning and require vigilance and better cognitive performances should be administered in the middle of the week. Otherwise, tasks which require concentration should be programmed in the morning, while tasks and brief applications which require speed should be administered in the afternoon.
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