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Über dieses Buch

This book offers a broad perspective on the field of cognitive engineering and neuroergonomics. It covers emerging practices and future trends towards the harmonious integration of human operators with computational systems. The book reports on novel theoretical findings on mental workload and stress, activity theory, human reliability, error and risk, and neuroergonomic measures alike, together with a wealth of cutting-edge applications. It describes key advances in the understanding of cognitive processes, including mechanisms of perception, memory, reasoning, and motor response, giving a special emphasis to their role in the interactions between humans and the other elements of a computer-based system. Based on the AHFE’s main track on Neuroergonomics and Cognitive Engineering, held on July 27-31, 2016 in Walt Disney World®, Florida, USA, the book provides readers with a comprehensive view of the current challenges in cognitive computing and factors influencing human performance.



Influencing Design with Cognitive Engineering and Neuroergonomics


Cued Recall with Gaze Guiding—Reduction of Human Errors with a Gaze-Guiding Tool

Gaze guiding has been found to be effective for skill acquisition. In three studies, 120 participants learned how to operate a simulated process control task and acquired complex cognitive skills. The studies differed only in the simulated process control tasks: Study 1 consisted of a fixed-sequence task, Study 2 of a contingent-sequence task and Study 3 of a parallel-sequence task. After two weeks, the acquired skill had to be recalled. The Gaze-Guiding group received the help of a gaze-guiding tool in week 3, while the Control group received no help. The results of all studies imply that the gaze-guiding tool supported the correct execution of the tasks. In Study 3, the gaze-guiding tool also supported a higher production outcome compared to the Control group. Gaze guiding can be used as a cued recall tool for skills which require the exact execution of a procedure for different task types.

Barbara Frank, Annette Kluge

Investigation of the Recognition of Different Font Sizes on Human-Machine Interface and Physiological Characteristics for Aged People

With the growing population of the elderly people, designers of the human-machine interface must consider their psychophysiological characteristics. Three groups of subjects with a mean age of 21.0, 38.5 and 61.5 years, participated in the experiments. First they were examined by the perimeter. Then their near vision were measured by the Landolt ring test. Finally a Chinese character choosing task was done. The senile group had a marked decrease of light sensitivity and also a decline of near vision. For the 9-point font, there was no significant difference among three groups. However, for the 6-point font, the senile group reacted slowly. In the future, for the sake of the aged people, it would be of great importance to work out the critical and optimal font sizes under different light conditions. To obtain this goal, more experiments should be done and more subjects should be involved.

Shengwen Luo, Li Ding, Linghua Ran, Yan Li

Cognitive Ergonomics Applied to the eQRH: Developing an Electronic Quick Reaction Handbook for Use During Aviation Emergencies

Technology has transformed much with regard to in-flight use of electronic flight bags (EFBs), but little formal literature addresses guidelines for electronic (non-print) presentations designed to aid in “quick reaction” situations such as emergencies or abnormal conditions in flight. This paper contributes to the body of knowledge by describing the development of an electronic “Quick Reaction Handbook” (eQRH) using content from an aviation platform (the KC-135 aircraft). We describe design features that consider (1) technology capabilities and limitations, (2) the operational environment, and (3) human capabilities and limitations in stressful situations. We discuss specifically tailored cognitive engineering/cognitive ergonomics methods for overcoming challenges during development (such as translation of content from paper-based media, subject matter expert knowledge elicitation, and eQRH verification and validation). We describe generalizable cognitive ergonomics design principles for the eQRH, and formulate a procedural template (process model) and technical data “content templates” for general eQRH development.

Marcia Crosland, Wesley Wang, Jerry Ray, Stuart Michelson, C. J. Hutto

The Impact of Chinese Cultural Elements on the User Experience in Government Website Design

E-government has been recognized the most effective way of improving the government’s public management and service efficiency, but at the present stage of China’s government web site is a big gap from the expectations of the public. A number of studies have compared the differences of government website design in the style of image under the different cultural atmosphere. Culture plays an important role in interface design, so in the atmosphere of Chinese traditional culture, there are a lot of cultural identification characteristics affecting the user’s cognition and habits. This paper will study the mapping relationship between design elements and the cultural mental image, as well as the relationship between the government websites design integrated into the cultural elements and the user experience.

Tian Lei, Xu Liu, Lei Wu, Ziliang Jin, Yuhui Wang

Research on the Influence of Abstract Knowledge to the Individual Cognitive Behavior and Innovative Design Thinking

Earlier studies have shown that the degree of abstract knowledge has a significant impact on the result of innovative design, which plays an important role in the process of design thinking, thereby affecting the generation of innovative design. This paper presents a design experiment that was conducted to study the effects of abstract knowledge to individual’s design thinking and the cognitive behavior. In the experiment, subjects were given different levels of abstract knowledge, respectively from three aspects of the product: Function-Behavior-Structure, and then they were asked to complete a design task. Then analyze the role of abstract knowledge’s form of cognition, and explore the mechanism of inspired design thinking further. The paper finally provides a theoretical basis for the design of innovative knowledge-oriented services.

Yongjia Zhou, Qing Xue, Jia Hao, Min-xia Liu

How the Color Matching and Arrow Position Affect the Design of the Bus Stop Board: An Eye Movement Experimental Research

An eye movement study was conducted to study the visual factors which influencing the searching efficiency of bus stop board. 31 ordinary adults were measured to investigate the effects of the color matching, the positions of the arrow indicating bus route direction on the searching efficiency of the different sexual passengers at different age stage by Eye-tracking. The eye movement experiment took the bus stop names as material, set simulated bus route, and made series of bus stop boards with different color combinations and graphic designs. The result shows that the difference in search time and fixation times between the positions of the direction arrow of the bus name list is significant. When the arrow was below of the bus stop name list, it costed much less time for distribute alignment bus stop boards than for top alignment ones in searching destination bus stop; and when the bus stop name list was whether for the white background black text or green background white text, those bus stop boards which the direction arrow was below the bus stop name list had a significant advantage over those that the arrow was above in searching time and fixation times. As a conclusion, the obtained results could be a reference for design the bus stop board.

Chuanyu Zou, Na Lin, Yunhong Zhang

Measuring the Amplitude of the N100 Component to Predict the Occurrence of the Inattentional Deafness Phenomenon

In the field of aviation, a significant amount of accidents are attributable to a phenomenon called inattentional deafness, defined as “the propensity to remain unaware of unexpected, though fully perceptible auditory stimuli such as alarms”. The present study aimed at testing the impact of cognitive load on the perception of auditory information unrelated to the piloting task at stake in an ecological flight context. Pilots had to perform simultaneously a piloting task (i.e., approach and landing) in a A320 flight simulator and a passive auditory oddball task, with standard (80 %) and deviant (20 %) tones played. Lower N100 amplitudes were found in response to deviant tones when the piloting task was associated with a high cognitive load than a low cognitive load, demonstrating that cognitive load disrupts the perceptual processing of auditory stimuli, which is likely to trigger inattentional deafness in pilots.

Eve Florianne Fabre, Vsevolod Peysakhovich, Mickaël Causse

Cognitive Computing


Application of a Simulation-Based Software Tool for the Prospective Design of IT Work Places

The following article presents an approach on the extension of WorkDesigner—a simulation-based software tool for the strain-based staffing in industrial manufacturing—for the prospective design of IT work places. After a short introduction of WorkDesigner, the common economical and technical need for the individual design of IT work places is described in the following chapters. Here the current mega trend Digital Transformation takes center stage. Chapter 4 presents additional parameters for the adaption of WorkDesigner to the drafted “digital” needs. Finally, the results and the future developments are discussed.

Nico Feller, Andreas Amann, Ulf Müller, Michael Schiffmann, Oliver Kurscheid, Markus Gorzellik

Evaluation of User’s Affective Engagement While Interacting with Educational Technologies: A Pilot Study

There are several educational technologies developed to enforce learning in computing. These tools success have generally been studied through subjective measurement. However, subjective data may be inaccurate due to users not providing exact information. Therefore, validity may be of concern. Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) researchers have recently implementing neurophysiological tools towards their user studies for subjective data support. This paper presents an exploratory user study to implement neurophysiological tools to gather objective data to evaluate the usefulness of educational technologies. A between-subject study was conducted comparing Alice and App Inventor user’s affective engagement levels. The results showed no statistical significant. Lastly, this paper can serve as a short guideline on how to adapt neurophysiological tools towards their user studies.

Marvin Andujar, Patricia Morreale, Yerika Jimenez, Luis Jimenez, Juan E. Gilbert

On the Modelling an Artificial Cognitive System Based on the Human-Brain Architecture

The approach to modeling a cognitive system based on the human-brain architecture, called the Natural-Constructive Approach is presented. The key point of this approach is the following: an artificial cognitive system, being a complex multi-level combination of various-type neural processors, should be divided into two subsystems, by analogy with two cerebral hemispheres in a human brain. It is shown that one of them should necessarily contain a random element (noise) for generation of information (creativity); it is responsible for learning. The other one, being free of noise, is responsible for memorization and processing the well-known information. Emotions could be interpreted as the noise-amplitude variation and incorporated into the system by coupling the noise amplitude with the additional variable representing the aggregated value of neurotransmitter composition, which reflects the influence of subcortical brain structures. It is shown that the activity of both subsystems should be controlled by the noise-amplitude derivative.

Olga Chernavskaya, Dmitry Chernavskii, Yaroslav Rozhylo

Identity Verification Using a Kinematic Memory Detection Technique

We present a new method that allows the identification of false self-declared identity, based on indirect measures of the memories relating the affirmed personal details. This method exploits kinematic analysis of mouse as implicit measure of deception, while the user is answering to personal information. Results show that using mouse movement analysis, it is possible to reach a high rate of accuracy in detecting the veracity of self-declared identities. In fact, we obtained an average accuracy of 88 % in the classification of single answers as truthful or untruthful, that corresponds overall to 9.7/10 participants correctly classified as true tellers or liars. The advantage of this method is that it does not requires any knowledge about the real identity of the declarant.

Merylin Monaro, Luciano Gamberini, Giuseppe Sartori

Emotiv-Based Low-Cost Brain Computer Interfaces: A Survey

Within the field of Brain Computer Interfacing (BCI), Electroencephalography (EEG) is the most widely applied modality. But most of the EEG based BCI applications use expensive sensors for capturing brain data. In order to make these systems accessible to end-user, it is quite necessary to have low-cost alternatives. The Emotiv EPOC is one of the inexpensive EEG devices that has been increasingly employed. Although the headset has limitations related to signal quality but it is gaining popularity in BCI researches. In this paper, a detailed review of Emotiv based BCI systems is presented along with its comparison with medical grade EEG devices. Classification algorithms and preprocessing techniques used with these systems are also discussed. Its performance is evaluated based on different factors including subjects, stimuli and specific nature of the application. The paper is concluded with the discussion of present challenges and future research possibilities for Emotiv based BCI applications.

Naveen Masood, Humera Farooq

Physiological Monitoring and Interaction


Test-Retest Stability of EEG and Eye Tracking Metrics as Indicators of Variations in User State—An Analysis at a Group and an Individual Level

EEG- and eye tracking metrics have been investigated for their potential as indicators of user state in a variety of studies. However, their stability over time has rarely been assessed and findings are reported predominantly on a group level. In this paper, we report a test-retest analysis that aimed to investigate—at group and individual levels—the temporal stability of fixation duration, pupil dilation, and two built-in metrics from the Emotiv EPOC EEG sensor, namely Engagement and Frustration. The retest confirmed the temporal stability of most physiological metrics at the group level. But analysis at an individual level revealed that outcomes differ strongly between and also within individuals from test to retest. The divergent results between individual and group level illustrate that group level findings are of limited value for applications such as adaptive systems requiring individual user state diagnosis.

Jessica Schwarz, Sven Fuchs

Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) Versus Caffeine to Sustain Wakefulness at Night When Dosing at Start-of-Shift

Shift work is necessary in many industries such as healthcare, trucking, defense, and aviation. It is well documented that during the night shift, workers experience the lowest levels of performance and alertness (Czeisler et al. in Science 210:1264–1267, 1980; Akerstedt and Gillberg in Sleep 4:159–169, 1981 [1, 2]). Research has shown caffeine can enhance alertness and performance during overnight work (Muehlbach and Walsh in Sleep 18(1):22–29, 1995 [4]). However, benefits of caffeine decline over time (Miller et al. in Fatigue and its Effect on Performance in Military Environments (Report No. 0704–0188), 2007 [5]). McIntire et al. (Brain Stimul. 7(4):499–507, 2014 [6]) found a promising alternative for use during sleep deprivation called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). tDCS sustained performance throughout the sleep deprivation vigil and for a longer amount of time when compared to caffeine. Three groups of participants received either active tDCS and placebo gum at the start of their shift (1800), caffeine gum with sham tDCS, or sham tDCS with placebo gum. Participants completed 13 sessions of tasks and questionnaires while remaining awake for 36 h. Our results show tDCS could be a possible fatigue countermeasure.

Lindsey McIntire, R. Andy McKinley, Justin Nelson, Chuck Goodyear

The Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS) on Training During a Complex Procedural Task

There is a growing body of literature suggesting transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is effective in accelerating certain types of memory including working memory, language learning, and object recognition. Recent studies have provided new evidence that non-declarative memories such as motor skill acquisition may be enhanced through direct stimulation of motor cortex. Additionally, Galea and Celnik (J Neurophysiol 102:294–301, [10]) showed that inhibition of the prefrontal cortex following motor training led to enhanced procedural memory consolidation. This effort examined the effects of excitatory transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) over the primary motor cortex on memory acquisition and inhibitory tDCS over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in memory consolidation. Thirty-six Air Force members volunteered to participate. They were divided into four groups: anodal tDCS over motor cortex, cathodal stimulation over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), both anodal tDCS over motor cortex and cathodal tDCS over DLPFC, or sham tDCS over motor cortex and DLFPC. All participants received their stimulation condition while training on a procedural task that required them to identify incoming aircraft as friend or foe. Twenty-four hours after the training session, participants returned to the lab for retention testing. When comparing the day 1 (training) scores to the day 2 (test) score, the results showed the cathodal tDCS group performed 2× better than sham and all real tDCS groups exhibited scores significantly higher than sham. The evidence suggests that inhibition of the prefrontal cortex leads to the greatest improvement in performance. We hypothesize that this is a result of a shift in dominance of the declarative memory system to the non-declarative procedural system, which improves consolidation of the procedural memories gained during training.

R. Andy McKinley, Lindsey McIntire, Jeremy Nelson, Justin Nelson, Charles Goodyear

Eliciting Sustained Mental Effort Using the Toulouse N-Back Task: Prefrontal Cortex and Pupillary Responses

In safety-critical environments such as piloting or air-traffic control, the study of mental overload is crucial to further reduce accident rates. However, researchers face the complexity of inducing an important amount of mental effort in laboratory conditions. Therefore, we designed a novel paradigm, named “Toulouse N-back Task” (TNT), combining the classical n-back task with a mathematical processing to replicate the multidimensional sustained high mental workload (MW) existing in many complex occupations. Instead of memorizing and comparing unique items, as in classical n-back task, participants have to memorize and to compare the results of mathematics operations. Twenty participants were tested with the TNT under three load factors (n = 0, 1, or 2) with functional Near-InfraRed Spectroscopy (fNIRS) and pupillary measurements. The results revealed that higher difficulty degraded the cognitive performance together with increased prefrontal oxygenation and an increase in pupil diameter. Hence, hemodynamic responses and pupil diameter were sensitive to different levels of TNT’s difficulty. This paradigm could serve as a viable alternative to the classical n-back task and enable the progressive increase of the difficulty, for example, to test “high performer” individuals.

Mickaël Causse, Vsevolod Peysakhovich, Kevin Mandrick

An Eye Movement Research on 2D Interactive Game Design

In order to provide suggestions for further game design, an eye movement experiment was carried out to investigate how the player’s visual focus was distributed in shooter game. In the experiment, the 2D video games were taken as material. The participant were required using visual fixation to finish the shooter game by eye controlling, which the fixation times and fixation time were recorded by eye-tracker. The results showed that the central region was the best location for shooting or the main elements of paying attention. The result was consistent with the general visual habits. On the contrary, the elements located in top left and top right regions were hardly captured by players’ attention. According to classic composition prototypes, we could consider putting the important elements of 2D interactive video games in the central region, and distributing consist with human visual processing habits which was along with the directions of diffusing or concentrating of tension in triangle, square or circle prototypes.

Na Lin, Lei Feng, Tian Kang, Shiyu Fan, Yunhong Zhang

Theoretical Advances in Cognitive Engineering and Neuroergonomics


Cognitive and Emotional-Motivational Implications in the Job Design of Digitized Production Drilling in Deep Mines

The aim of this paper was to understand the influence of cognitive and emotional-motivational aspects of task complexity on workers performances in high-technology driven drilling activity in a deep mine. Data was collected by observing and video recording miners’ engaged in two separate production drilling activities, using two Boomers simultaneously. Based on the analysis, it is found that the workers encounter cognitive challenges in their ability to process information marked on rock surfaces for the positioning of the boomers, resulting in added complexity to their drilling tasks. The workers’ were also found to have issues with the quality of their designed job environment, and which emotional-motivational challenge also added to their tasks complexity. It is concluded that by understanding the emerging cognitive and emotional-motivational aspects of task complexities, future design processes of a friendly and performance enhancing work environments and technologies could evolve for efficient and effective human work.

Mohammed-Aminu Sanda

Measuring Operator Emotion Objectively at a Complex Final Assembly Station

To meet future challenges of production systems, especially in high-wage countries with high technological complexity in factories, it is important to focus on human operators. The perceived operator view is an important aspect, but takes time. This paper will discuss the physiological measurements used in four commercial and semi-commercial devices in terms of usability in industry,meaning of measurement data and relation to intuition and flow. Results indicate that three physiological measurements can be used in combination to measure well-being to some extent, but that subjective data needs to be incorporated to support the individual perspective (due to that the meaning of data is subjective). By using these devices, physiological data can be measured and evaluated in real-time, which increases the possibility of studying operator emotion (or memory constructs). More studies are needed to evaluate how cognitive processes and measurement data are connected.

Sandra Mattsson, Dan Li, Åsa Fast-Berglund, Liang Gong

A Comparative Study on 3D/2D Visual Search Performance on Different Visual Display Terminal

Visual search tasks are mainly test methods of user performances for electronic visual displays, which was usually used to assess the subjective quality of the visual display terminal. This study investigated the effect of different 3D styles on static 3D/2D visual search performance. A 2 (search environment: 3D versus 2D) × 2 (display styles: 3D polarization versus 3D switch) within-subject factorial design was used in this experiment. The visual search contents included static 3D/2D visual search performance, which the search target was hexagonal pyramid and the background was pentagonal pyramid. The experiment task was to find out one hexagonal pyramid from many five pyramid in a trial. The experiment was carried out in two 47-inch screen televisions and their matching 3D glasses. As the 47-inch screen televisions, one was a typical 3D polarization television, which used LG display panel; the other was a typical 3D switch television, which used the Samsung’s display panel. Sixteen subjects participated in this experiment. The search time and accuracy of each participant were recorded. The difference in search performance between 3D polarization television condition and 3D switch television condition was not significant whereas that between static 3D visual search and 2D visual search condition was significant. Post hoc comparisons found that the search time under the 2D environment was significantly longer than the search time under the 3D environment. Those results revealed that search performance was sensitive to search environment and the performance was not sensitive to 3D display styles. The obtained results could be a reference for deciding the visual search efficiency on different 3D display styles.

Yunhong Zhang, Ruifeng Yu, Lei Feng, Xin Wu

Aging Effects on Brain Efficiency in General Aviation Pilots

Understanding the effect of aging on brain efficiency and executive functions is important for high risk activities such as general aviation. In this study, ten private pilots in the age group 19–25 and ten in the 52–72 range completed the spatial working memory (SWM) and spatial planning and reasoning (One Touch Stockings, OTS) from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. The change in deoxygenated and oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO2) was measured. Younger pilots were found to be more efficient in the SWM task than the older group, with a smaller change in HbO2 and greater performance gain. However, aging has no significant effect on the OTS task efficiency, with both groups performing equally well. Analysis also suggests that there may be an effect on change in HbO2 due to flight hours.

Zarrin Chua, Mickaël Causse

Simulating Team Cognition in Complex Systems: Practical Considerations for Researchers

In contemporary society, teamwork is prominent as a critical component in many complex environments. Much of the success of teamwork is coupled with both team cognition and the contextual surround that a team is required to perform in. Over the last thirty years there have been various formulations of team simulations that represent team cognition and the context in various ways—some more beneficial than others. This paper examines numerous practical considerations, lessons learned, and insights developed over specific team simulations that our research group has engaged with over the years.

Michael McNeese, Nathan J. McNeese, Tristan Endsley, James Reep, Peter Forster

Fatigue and Theories of Resources: The Energetic Metaphor of the Mind Functioning Might Be Reconsidered

Industrial accidents are explained often by saying that people are fatigued. Traditionally, Theories of resources have been used to explain this relation between fatigue and accidents. Those theories predict that when there is a lack on mental resources people are more prone to err. They also predict that mental fatigue depends on how long a person has been performing a task. Therefore, they predict that more time performing a task would let to more accidents. However, data from industry contradicts this hypothesis. When people are supposed to be more fatigued (i.e. at the end of the week) they have fewer accidents. This paper present some data from one ongoing research project aim to explain these results about industry accidents. Our results suggest that we should review the traditional theories of resources and propose new one that include some compensatory mechanism that supply extra resources when is needed (Hockey in Biol Psychol 45(1), 73–93, [1]).

José J. Cañas

A New Method for the Objective Registration of Mental Workload

Complex and highly automated systems impose high demands on employees with respect to cognitive capacity and the ability to cope with workload. Prevention of over- and underload at workplaces with high cognitive demands can be achieved by objectively registering mental workload. Hence, the goal of this work is the development of such an objective method. We briefly introduce the so-called Dual Frequency Head Maps (DFHM) for registering mental workload by means of the electroencephalogram (EEG). Based on them, we obtain an index of mental state every 5 s ranging between the classes low, moderate, and high workload. Finally, we present results from a sample set of 54 people who executed cognitive tasks like switching and AOSPAN in a laboratory setting. We then verify the integrity of the new method by comparing the results with further workload relevant biosignal data, performance data, and the NASA-TLX questionnaire.

Thea Radüntz

Assessing Cognition and Performance


Effect of Time Pressure on Work Efficiency and Cognitive Judgment

It is often necessary to work under time constraints. Previous studies reported that a reasonable amount of time pressure can improve performance. However, they did not reveal what kind of pressure should be applied. This study investigated the ability of subjects to perform under time constraints and different kinds of pressure. We investigated work efficiency, cognitive judgment and the effect of time pressure on brain activity using an electrocardiogram (ECG) and functional near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). In this experiment, we used four types of time pressure. We applied each type of time pressure to subjects during the performance tests. For all performance tests, the results for auditory time pressure were better than those for no time pressure. In conclusion, we found that the subjects performed better when working under auditory time pressure.

Junpei Yabuki, Hiroshi Hagiwara

Cognitive Architecture Based Platform on Human Performance Evaluation for Space Manual Control Task

Based on ACT-R cognitive architecture, the paper proposes an integrated research and development platform to investigate astronaut’s cognitive behavior. By applying this platform, astronaut’s cognitive behavior model can be built; by abstracting the parameter of astronaut’s behavior, cognition and special task, the characteristic of astronaut’s cognitive processing can be analyzed; by software emulation technics, the astronaut’s cognition and behavior simulation platform is constructed, and the astronaut’s performance for special spaceflight task can be evaluated. As a study case, spacecraft manual control rendezvous and docking (RvD) task is chosen to investigate influential factors on human performance. The results show that, both the model’s simulating cognitive process and model’s running result are consistent with real situation, and the model’s specific parameter can map certain cognitive characteristic.

Yanfei Liu, Zhiqiang Tian, Yuzhou Liu, Junsong Li, Feng Fu

Multi-level Cognitive Cybernetics in Human Factors

Cybernetics provides a framework for understanding the behavior of closed-loop systems, including the feedback control intrinsic to cognitive systems (Smith and Smith in continuing the conversation: a newsletter of ideas in cybernetics. Greg and Pat Williams, Gravel Switch, KY, [1]). We propose adopting our interpretation of the cybernetics concept of feedback control of cognition by integrating across metacognition, performance, computational cognitive modeling, and physiological levels of analysis. To accomplish this objective, we tie cognitive variables to each level of analysis, including: (1) metacognition—self-evaluation of cognition; (2) performance—objective measures of progress toward a goal state; (3) physiology—indications of cognitive function (e.g., heart rate variability as an index of the level of task engagement); and (4) cognitive models—prediction and understanding of empirical results using sequences of cognitive steps. We call this integrative approach, Multi-Level Cognitive Cybernetics (MLCC). In this paper, we define the MLCC framework, discuss how MLCC can inform the design of adaptive automation technologies, and discuss the benefits of the MLCC approach in human factors.

Daniel N. Cassenti, Katherine R. Gamble, Jonathan Z. Bakdash

Accessibility Evaluation: Manual Development and Tool Selection for Evaluating Accessibility of E-Textbooks

The growing availability of digital learning materials and their integration in many facets of the education system have created a need for evaluating the accessibility and usability of e-learning materials. In some cases, these digital resources are simple conversions of the original, printed materials into electronic formats. In other cases, the digital versions of the materials take advantage of the interactive abilities of the online and electronic media to enhance students’ learning experiences. Regardless of format, however, the content needs to be accessible. Although accessibility guidelines and accessibility evaluations tools are available to users, there is no comprehensive accessibility evaluation technique to help guide users in selecting the most accessible learning materials. In this study, we surveyed existing accessibility tools, selected a recommended tool set, and created a manual for post-secondary educators, students, and other stakeholders to use for evaluating the accessibility of e-textbooks.

Yu Ting Sun, Aaron K. M. Manabat, Mei Ling Chan, Isis Chong, Kim-Phuong L. Vu

Development of a Scoring System for Evaluating the Accessibility of eTextbooks

The Internet enables educators to provide free educational resources to many users, including those with disabilities. Existing regulations outline minimum accessibility requirements. However, we are not aware of any standard metric that would allow users to judge the relative degree of accessibility provided by e-learning materials, such as eTextbooks. The goal of the present study was to develop an accessibility scoring method that can be used to guide users’ decision making when selecting eTextbooks. Using both non-assistive and assistive technologies, we analyzed a sample of 37 free access eTextbooks using 15 SkillsCommons accessibility checkpoints. We then worked with accessibility SMEs to determine severity weightings for each checkpoint in terms of its overall accessibility impact on users. Although, the scoring technique we developed needs further validation, it provides a starting point for accessibility researchers and post-secondary education stakeholders to quantify the level of accessibility provided by different eTextbooks.

Mei Ling Chan, Yu Ting Sun, Andriana M. Tesoro, Kim-Phuong L. Vu

Measuring the After-Effects of Disruption on Task Performance

In many settings, multi-tasking and interruption are commonplace. Multi-tasking has been a popular subject of recent research, but a multitasking paradigm normally allows the subject some control over the timing of the task switch. In this paper we focus on interruptions—situations in which the subject has no control over the timing of task switches. We consider three types of task: verbal (reading comprehension), visual search, and monitoring/situation awareness. Using interruptions from 30 s to 2 min in duration, we found a significant effect in each case, but with different effect sizes. For the situation awareness task, we experimented with interruptions of varying duration and found a non-linear relation between the duration of the interruption and its after-effect on performance, which may correspond to a task-dependent interruption threshold, which is lower for more dynamic tasks.

Robert G. Abbott, Eric Moyer, Chris Forsythe

Complexity and Reliability as Basic Quantitative Characteristics of Computer Based Tasks

This work is dedicated to the quantitative methods of task analysis that allow to evaluate task complexity and reliability of task performance. Specific attention is paid to reliability and complexity assessment of computer based task and the correlation between these vital characteristics of human performance. The qualitative and quantitative description of computer based task performance is utilized as an example. In our work we utilize methods of task analysis that were developed in the framework of systemic-structural activity theory (SSAT). Description of activity structure during task performance and its relationship to the structure of computer interface is analyzed. Reliability and task complexity assessment calls for the creation of various models of activity during interaction of user with computer. Such approach is different from cognitive approach which considers cognition only as a process and ignores the concept of cognitive structure.

Inna Bedny, Gregory Bedny, Waldemar Karwowski

Windshield Frame Shape and Awareness of the External World While Driving an Automobile

The vehicle windshield is supported and framed by the hood, roof, and pillars, which occlude the driver’s view of the outside. It has been previously shown that awareness of the external world changes according to differences in windshield shape. This directly affects the drivability of a vehicle. Thus, the windshield shape must be designed by considering driver’s visual performance so that it can be balanced with other performance measures such as weight and roominess to design the optimal cockpit. Visual performance during driving is affected by (1) bottom-up attention and (2) top-down attention, and (3) selection between them. This study focuses on Itti and Koch’s visual saliency that attracts bottom-up attention as a visual scene changes in shape and color around front windshield frame during driving. This paper aims to quantify the relationships between drivers’ gaze movements and visual saliency.

Yusaku Takeda, Koji Iwase, Toshihiro Hara, Atsuhide Kishi, Kazuo Nishikawa, Richard Veale, Masatoshi Yoshida, Tadashi Isa, Takahide Nouzawa

Managing Mediated Interruptions in Manufacturing: Selected Strategies Used for Coping with Cognitive Load

Interruption research can provide human factors and applied ergonomics with an enhanced understanding of how to notify assembly workers in manufacturing. The paper investigates and analyzes what happens in the transition phase when resuming to the primary task; to understand what kind of support assembly workers may need during this critical and cognitively demanding phase—so that the interval between the interrupted and the primary tasks can be shortened to increase efficiency, during mediated interruptions. Subjects were interrupted during primary assembly tasks via a mobile device which delivered various notifications. We focused on the selected cognitive strategies applied when decreasing the subjects’ experienced cognitive load as they resumed to their primary task. Based on the obtained results, some recommendations from a distributed cognition perspective are provided when analyzing “cognitive workscapes.”

Jessica Lindblom, Jonna Gündert

The Design Features of Pictorial Face Design for Facilitating Exertion Perception

The purpose of this study is to determine how many of face features and their combinations could be better comprehensive for different level of physical exertion. Thirty-four healthy volunteers, including 18 males and 16 females were recruited from a university population to participate in the study. There were four types of stimuli outline faces including one holistic condition and three partial face conditions were examined. The sequence of displaying the four types of stimuli faces was from single feature to multi-feature, the order was mouth only condition, eyebrows with eyes condition, eyebrows with mouth condition, and holistic face condition. The main finding of this study is that the different combination of face feature stimuli would influence on perceiving the facial expression of effort. If the key features of facial expression were shown no matter other features were reduction, participants could still correctly understand the information.

Ding Hau Huang, Wen Ko Chiou, Bi Hui Chen, Yi-Lang Chen

Design an Interactive Game App of Horticultural Therapy for Older Adults

Horticultural therapy is a non-pharmacologic intervention that has significant benefits of older adults. The aim of this paper is to design an interactive game app of horticultural therapy for aged people. The game is designed by following design methods. First, the interview is performed to realize the procedures and the requirements of horticultural therapy. Then, paper prototypes are made to test the app is appropriate for the elderly. The result is expected to benefit the elderly’s physiological conditions and psychological state; therefore, it supports not only the elderly who suffering from the disease such as Dementia but also the healthy aged people who pursuing quality of life (QOL).

Pin-Yi Lai, Chien-Hsu Chen

Visual Psychophysical Thresholds for Perceiving Objects and Letters on Monocular Head-Up Displays in Indoor and Outdoor Lighting Conditions

Monocular and binocular head-up displays (HUD) can enhance situational awareness by providing hands-free, real-time information to users on the move. These displays hold the potential for enhancing human experience in many activities, including ambulatory first responders or military personnel. The present study involved a visual psychophysics assessment of three commercially available HUD systems: Vuzix M2000AR, Epson BT-200, and Google Glass. Testing involved 36 participants viewing 112 trials of shape and letter stimuli, presented using the Ascending Methods of Limits psychophysics approach. Half of the trials were completed indoors and half completed outdoors for each HUD. Results demonstrated that participants were able to reliably perceive smaller stimulus sizes with the Epson and Google devices, relative to the Vuzix. This was especially the case in outdoor environments. Results demonstrate the importance of identifying perceptual thresholds for reliably perceiving and interpreting visual stimuli, with large implications for conveying information to the HUD user. Findings of this study demonstrate important practical considerations for selecting commercially-available HUD systems, with particular emphasis on understanding system-specific resolution in tandem with the inherent perceptual capabilities and limitations of human users.

Breanne K. Hawes, Tad T. Brunyé, Brian P. Westgate

Effects of Biasing Information on the Conceptual Structure of Team Communications

This study evaluated the effect of biasing information on team communication and cognition in a distributed team decision-making task. Teams received misleading or irrelevant information (control) either early or late in their information queue, and Conceptual Recurrence Analysis (CRA) was used to quantify conceptual structure in team communications. Teams in the Late condition produced a significantly greater proportion of conceptually similar utterances than teams in the Early or Control conditions. There was also a trend in the Early condition for utterances to be more conceptually similar than those in the Late condition. Additionally, the persistence of misleading information was affected by condition: teams in the Late condition were still discussing misleading information in the second half of the experiment, but teams in the Early condition were not. We take this as evidence that receiving misleading information later in the queue decreased the focus of team conversation.

Michael T. Tolston, Victor Finomore, Gregory J. Funke, Vincent Mancuso, Rebecca Brown, Lauren Menke, Michael A. Riley
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