Pip and Pop: When auditory alarms facilitate visual change detection in dynamic settings
Hodgetts, Helen M.
Vallières, Benoît R.
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Dynamic and complex command and control situations often require the timely recognition of changes in the environment in order to detect potentially malicious actions. Change detection can be challenging within a continually evolving scene, and particularly under multitasking conditions whereby attention is necessarily divided between several subtasks. On-screen tools can assist with detection (e.g., providing a visual record of changes, ensuring that none are overlooked), however, in a high workload environment, this may result in information overload to the detriment of the primary task. One alternative is to exploit the auditory modality as a means to support visual change detection. In the current study, we use a naval air-warfare simulation, and introduce an auditory alarm to coincide with critical visual changes (in aircraft speed/direction) on the radar. We found that participants detected a greater percentage of visual changes and were significantly quicker to detect these changes when they were accompanied by an auditory alarm than when they were not. Furthermore, participants reported that mental demand was lower in the auditory alarm condition, and this was reflected in reduced classification omissions on the primary task. Results are discussed in relation to Wickens’ multiple resource theory of attention and indicate the potential for using the auditory modality to facilitate visual change detection.
Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting;
Chamberland, C., Hodgetts, H.M., Vallières, B.R., Vachon, F. and Tremblay, S. (2016) 'Pip and Pop: When Auditory Alarms Facilitate Visual Change Detection in Dynamic Settings', In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 60,(1), pp. 284-288
This paper was published in Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting on 15 September (online), available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1541931213601065
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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