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Lindsey McIntire, Andy McKinley, Chuck Goodyear; Using Eye-Tracking to Detect Vigilance. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):538. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/12.9.538.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
INTRODUCTION: Today’s military operational environment demands sustained attention and vigilance. Air traffic controllers, cyber operators, TSA inspectors, unmanned aerial systems operators, and satellite imagery analysts encounter lapses in attention due to the sometimes boring and monotonous nature of these positions. Mistakes in these environments can have devastating consequences. Currently, there is no tool to measure operator performance in these environments and the lapse is only noticed after a mistake is made. The purpose of this study is to determine the possible use of an eye-tracker to detect changes in vigilance performance. METHODS: Nineteen participants volunteered to participate in this study. Each participant performed a 40-minute vigilance task while wearing an eye-tracker on each of four separate days. RESULTS: Blink frequency, blink duration, PERCLOS, pupil diameter, pupil eccentricity, pupil velocity, and signal detection all had a significant change over time (p<.05) during the vigilance task. All of these eye metrics except pupil diameter increased as vigilance performance declined. Pupil diameter is the only oculometric that was found to decrease with performance, which has been reported in previous studies during a monotonous task. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that these oculometrics could be used to detect changes in vigilance. Future research is needed to assess the real-time effects of these oculometrics on vigilance performance. Using an eye-tracker in an operational environment to detect changes in sustained attention would allow preventative measures, perhaps by implementing a perceptual warning system or augmenting human cognition through non-invasive brain stimulation techniques.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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