Psychophysiological Monitorization in a Special Operation Selection Course

  • Alberto J. Hormeño-Holgado
  • Vicente J. Clemente-SuárezEmail author
Education & Training
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Technological Innovations in Biomedical Training and Practice (TEEM 2018)


The present research aimed: i. to analyse the psychophysiological response of soldiers undertaking a special operation selection course; ii. to study the relationship between fat and muscle loss and the psychophysiological response of soldiers undertaking a special operation selection course. We analysed 46 professional soldiers from a special operations unit (25.1 ± 5.0 years, 1.8 ± 0.1 cm, 76.8 ± 7.9 kg, 24.4 ± 2.5 kg/m2) undertaking the last phase of their 10 weeks special operation selection course. Before and immediately after the exercise the following variables were assessed: Stress subjective perception, fatigue subjective perception, rating of perceived perception, cortical arousal, body temperature, blood oxygen saturation, spirometry, isometric hand strength, lower body muscular strength, urine, body composition, life engagement test, coping flexibility scale, acceptance and action questionnaire, perceived stress scale, anxiety state, visual analogue scale and differential aptitude test. A special operation selection course induced an intense stress and physical response as suggested by the psychophysiological changes with a significant (p < 0.05) increase in fatigue and stress subjective perception, blood oxygen saturation, Ph, cognitive impairment and motivation-loss. Moreover, decreased leg strength, peak expiratory flow, cortical arousal, body composition, body weight, fat and muscle mass, anxiety stress, alertness, sadness and tension decreased after the exercise. Regarding body composition, higher muscle mass loss participants were related to a higher cognitive impairment and similar psychophysiological response than lower fat mass loss participants.


Cortical arousal Stress Anxiety Military Sleep deprivation 



This study had no funding support.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Author Alberto Hormeño-Holgado declares that he has no conflict of interest. Vicente Javier Clemente-Suarez declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving hu- man participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Sports SciencesUniversidad Europea de MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.Studies Centre in Applied Combat (CESCA)ToledoSpain
  3. 3.Grupo de Investigación en Cultura, Educación y SociedadUniversidad de la CostaBarranquillaColombia

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