The Event-Related Brain Potential as an Index of Display-Monitoring Workload

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As an index of task workload, the possible advantages of the event-related brain potential (ERP) over traditional secondary task and physiological measures are described and previous efforts to validate the use of ERPs in this context are discussed. An experiment is then reported in which perceptual load, incurred by monitoring a simulated air-traffic-control display for discrete events, is assessed using (a) measures of the P300 component of ERPs elicited by auditory probe stimuli and (b) a reaction time secondary task. The ERP measures were found to reflect systematically differences in task workload and to covary closely with the reaction time measure. The results are discussed within the framework of a multidimensional conception of human processing resources and task workload.

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Human Factors, v. 22, issue 2, p. 212-224