The Cognitive Demands of Second Order Manual Control: Applications of the Event-Related Brain Potential

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Conference Proceeding

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Three experiments are described in which tracking difficulty is varied in the presence of a covert tone discrimination task. Event related brain potentials (ERPs) elicited by the tones are employed as an index of the resource demands of tracking. The ERP measure reflected the control order variation, and this variable was thereby assumed to compete for perceptual/central processing resources. A fine-grained analysis of the results suggested that the primary demands of second order tracking involve the central processing operations of maintaining a more complex internal model of the dynamic system, rather than the perceptual demands of higher derivative perception. Experiment 3 varied tracking bandwidth in random input tracking, and the ERP was unaffected. Bandwidth was then inferred to compete for response-related processing resources that are independent of the ERP.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Presented at the Proceedings of the 17th Annual NASA Conference on Manual Control on October 15, 1981 in Los Angeles, CA.