Accession Number : ADP001620

Title :   Operator Workload as a Function of the System State: An Analysis Based Upon the Event-Related Brain Potential,


Personal Author(s) : Gill,Richard T. ; Wickens,Christopher

Report Date : JAN 1983

Pagination or Media Count : 9

Abstract : While the processing demands of second order manual control are known to be greater than those of 1st or 0 order, the precise nature of locus of these increased demands is not well established. The purpose of this research is to determine if the demands are perceptual--related to the perception of higher derivatives of the error signal or characteristics of the system state, and thereby fluctuating with changes in these variables or central. In the latter case, we assume the demand to be constant over time, a consequence of the increased demands of activating a more complex internal model. Event-related brain potentials (ERP)-- more specifically, P300 amplitude -- were employed to assess operator workload while controlling a second order system. The ERP waveforms were categorized according to the system state at the time of the eliciting probes. Statistical analyses revealed no differences in P300 amplitude among the categories. Thus, it was concluded that the increased level of operator workload remained constant rather than fluctuating with changes in the system state. These results identify central processing rather than perception as the locus of higher order load.

Descriptors :   *Workload, *Electroencephalography, Information processing, Operators(Personnel), Overload, Attention, Allocations, Manual operation, Man machine systems, Tracking, Control sticks, Errors, Statistical analysis

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE