The Relationship among Eye Movements, Head Movements, and Manual Responses in a Simulated Air Traffic Control Task
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The Relationship among Eye Movements, Head Movements, and Manual Responses in a Simulated Air Traffic Control Task

  • 1995-08-01

Filetype[PDF-917.98 KB]

  • English

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      Performance of operators in aviation systems is highly dependent on their ability to visually scan information sources, identify problematic situations, and respond appropriately. Scanning behavior has often been mentioned as a contributing factor in the performance of air traffic controllers. An investigation was initiated to identify how alterations in various gaze measures could serve as indices of changes in alertness. As part of that larger investigation, a subset of the complete data base was used to investigate the nature of changes in eye and head movements within a session, between days, and among event types. Ten subjects were chosen for their propensity to make head movements when shifting gaze from the CRT display to the keypad for a manual response. The task consisted of 44 infrequently occurring events for which manual responses were required. There were 4 types of events; Unidentified Aircraft, Loss of Altitude, Conflict (2 aircraft at the same altitude flying toward each other), No Conflict (2 aircraft at the same altitude flying away from each other). The 2-hour session was divided into 3 approximately equal time blocks. The dependent measures were: eye movement latency, head movement latency, and the eye movement following the manual response that returned the eye to the visual display (return saccades). Eye and head movement latencies were measured from the manual response. The following conclusions were made: There were no significant eye-head movement differences among the event types. The relationship between the initiation of head movements and the initiation of eye movements appears to be a stable characteristic of the individual; it was consistent between days, as well as within the session. Return saccades were task dependent; events requiring 2 manual responses showed different return saccade patterns. The return saccade associated with the first response occur-red prior to making the manual response, whereas the return saccade associated with the second response occurred after the manual response.
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