Unravelling the Physiological Correlates of Mental Workload Variations in Tracking and Collision Prediction Tasks.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng, 2022, PP, (99), pp. 1-1
Issue Date:
Filename Description Size
35259108 AM.pdfSubmitted version733.29 kB
Adobe PDF
Full metadata record
Modern work environments have extensive interactions with technology and greater cognitive complexity of the tasks, which results in human operators experiencing increased mental workload. Air traffic control operators routinely work in such complex environments, and we designed tracking and collision prediction tasks to emulate their elementary tasks. The physiological response to the workload variations in these tasks was elucidated to untangle the impact of workload variations experienced by operators. Electroencephalogram (EEG), eye activity, and heart rate variability (HRV) data were recorded from 24 participants performing tracking and collision prediction tasks with three levels of difficulty. Our findings indicate that variations in task load in both these tasks are sensitively reflected in EEG, eye activity and HRV data. Multiple regression results also show that operators' performance in both tasks can be predicted using the corresponding EEG, eye activity and HRV data. The results also demonstrate that the brain dynamics during each of these tasks can be estimated from the corresponding eye activity, HRV and performance data. Furthermore, the markedly distinct neurometrics of workload variations in the tracking and collision prediction tasks indicate that neurometrics can provide insights on the type of mental workload. These findings have applicability to the design of future mental workload adaptive systems that integrate neurometrics in deciding not just "when" but also "what" to adapt. Our study provides compelling evidence in the viability of developing intelligent closed-loop mental workload adaptive systems that ensure efficiency and safety in complex work environments.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: