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Evaluation of a Psychomotor Vigilance Task for Touch Screen Devices  (2017)
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Our goals were to compare three techniques for performing a psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) on a touch screen device (fifth-generation iPod) and to determine the device latency.

The PVT is a reaction-time test that is sensitive to sleep loss and circadian misalignment. Several PVT tests have been developed for touch screen devices, but unlike the standard PVT developed for laboratory use, these tests allow for touch responses to be recorded at any location on the device, with contact from any finger. In addition, touch screen devices exhibit latency in processing time between the touch response and the time registered by the device.

Thirteen participants completed a 5-min PVT on a touch screen device held in three positions (on a table with index finger, handheld portrait with index finger, handheld landscape with thumb). We compared reaction-time outcomes in each orientation condition using paired t tests. We recorded the first session using a high-speed video camera to determine the latency between the touch response and the documented response time.

The participants had significantly faster reaction times in the landscape-oriented position using the thumb, compared with the portrait-oriented position using the index (M = 224.13 and M = 244.26, p = .045). Using data from 1,241 unique touch events, we found a mean device latency of 68.53 ms that varied highly between individuals.

Device orientation and device latency should be considered when using a touch screen version of a PVT.

Our findings apply to researchers administering touch screen versions of the PVT.
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fatigue, input, latency, PVT, reaction, time, touch
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Human Factors, 2017; 59(4):661-670
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Alonso Vera
Last Updated: August 15, 2019