Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation system for improvement of flight orientation in a VR-based motion environment

Publisher:
IEEE
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
ISCAS 2012 - 2012 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, 2012, pp. 2055 - 2058
Issue Date:
2012-09-28
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It is very important to reduce the possibility of spatial disorientation because spatial disorientation is a major cause of aircraft crashes. In this research, we assess the effect of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) on spatial cognitive function by measuring physiological signals, including brain waves measured by electroencephalography (EEG). Through physiological signals such as brain waves, we can objectively understand a subject's cognitive state. Moreover, we use virtual reality technology to build 3D scenery that provides navigation clues in an environment with no visual reference frame. Using the virtual environment, we confirm that TENS lessens spatial disorientation. Across subjects and sessions, the parietal component of brain activity exhibited baseline elevation predominantly in the theta (4-7 Hz) and alpha (8-12 Hz) band as the subjects navigated. This study also found that subjects performed better after TENS in terms of behavioral and EEG data. The results facilitate understanding of the cognitive function of maintaining spatial orientation and development of a device for assisting pilots and reducing the occurrence of spatial disorientation. © 2012 IEEE.
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