Dissociation Between Mental Workload, Performance, and Task Awareness in Pilots of High Performance Aircraft

Heikki Petteri Mansikka, Kai Virtanen, Don Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how the inclusion of a tactical task goal awareness measure complemented mental workload and performance measures in a simulated air combat mission. It was hypothesized that the evaluation of the tactical task goal awareness could provide additional information concerning the cognitive demands a pilot is exposed to during a complex air combat task. A test setting was developed to test this hypothesis in a virtual flight training device. To highlight the impact of task complexity, high performance aircraft pilots’ heart rate (HR), interbeat-interval (IBI), and performance in two simple flying tasks were first compared. Then, a similar comparison, complemented with the tactical task goal awareness measure, was made with two complex flying tasks. It was found that when the pilot's awareness of the tactical goals was low, a combination of low performance and low mental workload occurred. It was concluded that when the pilots’ performance is evaluated on a complex air combat task, the awareness of the tactical goals, performance, and mental workload should be studied together as the pilot's awareness can explain some of HR/IBI responses that could be otherwise misinterpreted. More generally, mental workload, performance, and task goal awareness should all be considered when the operator's performance in any complex human–machine system is assessed.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-9
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems
Volume49
Issue number1
Early online date24 Oct 2018
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Fingerprint

Aircraft
Air
Man machine systems

Bibliographical note

© 2018 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.

Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

Cite this

Dissociation Between Mental Workload, Performance, and Task Awareness in Pilots of High Performance Aircraft. / Mansikka, Heikki Petteri; Virtanen, Kai ; Harris, Don.

In: IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems , Vol. 49, No. 1, 02.2019, p. 1-9.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{28c06d21b51f408a927a0f9a45403990,
title = "Dissociation Between Mental Workload, Performance, and Task Awareness in Pilots of High Performance Aircraft",
abstract = "The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how the inclusion of a tactical task goal awareness measure complemented mental workload and performance measures in a simulated air combat mission. It was hypothesized that the evaluation of the tactical task goal awareness could provide additional information concerning the cognitive demands a pilot is exposed to during a complex air combat task. A test setting was developed to test this hypothesis in a virtual flight training device. To highlight the impact of task complexity, high performance aircraft pilots’ heart rate (HR), interbeat-interval (IBI), and performance in two simple flying tasks were first compared. Then, a similar comparison, complemented with the tactical task goal awareness measure, was made with two complex flying tasks. It was found that when the pilot's awareness of the tactical goals was low, a combination of low performance and low mental workload occurred. It was concluded that when the pilots’ performance is evaluated on a complex air combat task, the awareness of the tactical goals, performance, and mental workload should be studied together as the pilot's awareness can explain some of HR/IBI responses that could be otherwise misinterpreted. More generally, mental workload, performance, and task goal awareness should all be considered when the operator's performance in any complex human–machine system is assessed.",
author = "Mansikka, {Heikki Petteri} and Kai Virtanen and Don Harris",
note = "{\circledC} 2018 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works. Copyright {\circledC} and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.",
year = "2019",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1109/THMS.2018.2874186",
language = "English",
volume = "49",
pages = "1--9",
journal = "IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems",
issn = "2168-2291",
publisher = "Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Dissociation Between Mental Workload, Performance, and Task Awareness in Pilots of High Performance Aircraft

AU - Mansikka,Heikki Petteri

AU - Virtanen,Kai

AU - Harris,Don

N1 - © 2018 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works. Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

PY - 2019/2

Y1 - 2019/2

N2 - The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how the inclusion of a tactical task goal awareness measure complemented mental workload and performance measures in a simulated air combat mission. It was hypothesized that the evaluation of the tactical task goal awareness could provide additional information concerning the cognitive demands a pilot is exposed to during a complex air combat task. A test setting was developed to test this hypothesis in a virtual flight training device. To highlight the impact of task complexity, high performance aircraft pilots’ heart rate (HR), interbeat-interval (IBI), and performance in two simple flying tasks were first compared. Then, a similar comparison, complemented with the tactical task goal awareness measure, was made with two complex flying tasks. It was found that when the pilot's awareness of the tactical goals was low, a combination of low performance and low mental workload occurred. It was concluded that when the pilots’ performance is evaluated on a complex air combat task, the awareness of the tactical goals, performance, and mental workload should be studied together as the pilot's awareness can explain some of HR/IBI responses that could be otherwise misinterpreted. More generally, mental workload, performance, and task goal awareness should all be considered when the operator's performance in any complex human–machine system is assessed.

AB - The purpose of this study was to demonstrate how the inclusion of a tactical task goal awareness measure complemented mental workload and performance measures in a simulated air combat mission. It was hypothesized that the evaluation of the tactical task goal awareness could provide additional information concerning the cognitive demands a pilot is exposed to during a complex air combat task. A test setting was developed to test this hypothesis in a virtual flight training device. To highlight the impact of task complexity, high performance aircraft pilots’ heart rate (HR), interbeat-interval (IBI), and performance in two simple flying tasks were first compared. Then, a similar comparison, complemented with the tactical task goal awareness measure, was made with two complex flying tasks. It was found that when the pilot's awareness of the tactical goals was low, a combination of low performance and low mental workload occurred. It was concluded that when the pilots’ performance is evaluated on a complex air combat task, the awareness of the tactical goals, performance, and mental workload should be studied together as the pilot's awareness can explain some of HR/IBI responses that could be otherwise misinterpreted. More generally, mental workload, performance, and task goal awareness should all be considered when the operator's performance in any complex human–machine system is assessed.

U2 - 10.1109/THMS.2018.2874186

DO - 10.1109/THMS.2018.2874186

M3 - Article

VL - 49

SP - 1

EP - 9

JO - IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems

T2 - IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems

JF - IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems

SN - 2168-2291

IS - 1

ER -