Vibrations are often experienced in the workplace and may influence performance and executive function. Research has shown that vibrations may have an affect effect on drowsiness and tests related to inhibitory control. Previous work investigating whole body vibrations (WBV) and their effect was evaluated to inform the decisions for this study. WBV effects on cognitive abilities were examined and the different tests used in these studies were identified and compared. Electroencephalogram (EEG) and event related potentials (ERP) were selected to be used to measure inhibitory and cognitive processes. The N2 ERP, which reflects inhibitory control processes, was examined as well as the dominant frequency of the Fourier fast transform (FFT). A total of 94 participants between the ages of 18-55 (Mage = 20.49 SDage = 1.68) completed this study (51 female, 38 male and 5 with no gender listed). A go/no-go task was used to elicit the N2 ERP after WBV and a simultaneous EEG recording while the participants experienced WBV was used to gather the needed data. Stimulus frequencies used for the N2 ERP included 15 Hz, 20 Hz, and 40 Hz. During the simultaneous recording stimulus frequency varied every 30 seconds by 10 Hz from 20 Hz to 110 Hz. Data were analyzed using both a linear mixed effects model for normally distributed data and a generalized linear mixed effects model for data taken as percentages. It was hypothesized that there would be an effect on performance as measured in the raw go/no-go results, that this change in performance showing improved accuracy would be linked to inhibitory control, and be seen as a decrease in the magnitude of the N2 ERP. It was also hypothesized that the exploratory FFT portion of the study would produce a shift from a higher to a lower frequency in the dominant waveform . The results show that there were no main effects in either the behavioral performance or in the N2 ERP of the participants but that there was a significant interaction at 40 Hz with improved simple go trial activity and decreased no-go inhibition. The results also show that there was a statistically significant shift in neural oscillation activity but that this shift was not real-world relevant within the context of this study.



College and Department

Mechanical Engineering



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whole body vibration, WBV, electroencephalography, ERP, inhibitory control



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Engineering Commons