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Research on limitations of human information processing:
  • Multi-tasking limitations - central bottleneck, effects of practice level, bypassing.
  • Human attention limitations - spatial attention, control of spatial attention, assessing the role of inhibition in attention control.
Display design, assessment and use in aerospace applications, informed by human attention and multi-tasking:
  • Integrated use of adjacent displays:
    • Facilitate simultaneous pilot information processing of adjacent Primary Flight Display and Situation map displays (for Integrated Intelligent Flight Deck project, using Synthetic Vision System (SVS) PFD and prototypical Cockpit Situation Display).
    • Results show considerable ability while assessing possible conflicts on CSD, to detect new planes appearing on PFD using peripheral vision.
  • Design of displays to depict 3-D space.
  • Color-coding of altitude to enable 3-D displays.
  • Perceptual coding of altitude with 2 ½ D displays.
Assessment of impact of Free-Flight (routeless direct flight Air Traffic Control concept) - How badly does loss of route organization impact controllers?
  • Conclusion: net impact is minimal (equivalent to adding less than 1 plane per sector); negative impact of loss of organization offset by reduced overprinting interference.
Do Heads-Up-Displays avoid attention problems?
  • Research showed that an overlay of two "visual worlds" -- through-the-window view and PFD symbology along same line-of-sight -- does not eliminate selective attention problems. Substantial impairment occurs in dual-monitoring tasks. Evidence is consistent with conclusions from basic research that at any one moment, operators are typically actively only attending to one object at a time. Even stimulus objects on the fovea may not be processed if attention is committed to other objects.
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: James Johnston
Last Updated: June 22, 2012