Time-of-day variation in sustained attentional control

<p>Sustained attention is a fundamental cognitive function underlying many activities in daily life including workplace safety, but its natural variation throughout the day is incompletely characterized. To examine time-of-day variation, we collected a large online data set (<i>N</i> = 6,363) with participation throughout the day and around the world on the gradual-onset continuous performance task, a sensitive measure of sustained attention. This allowed us to examine accuracy, attentional stability, and strategy. Results show that both accuracy and attentional stability peak between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. and progressively decline throughout the day, whereas strategy is more stable.</p>