The effects of flash frequency and amount of information in mitigating the effects of fatigue
Authors: Xiaoyan Zhang, Hongjun Xue
Abstract: Fatigue is a crucial factor related to aviation safety and is likely to result in negative impacts in cockpit operation tasks, especially for warning information recognition in emergency situations. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of sleep deprivation induced fatigue on task performance of warning recognition tasks, and how the above effects were moderated by two presentation characteristics of warning information (i.e., flash frequency and amount of information). Nine participants participated in an experiment in which they performed warning recognition tasks under both normal and fatigue conditions. Fatigue condition was induced by one night of sleep deprivation. Flash frequency ranged from 1 to 5 HZ in increments of 1 HZ, while amount of information was indicated by the number of information elements and ranged from 3 to 5. The results indicated that sleep deprivation induced fatigue and overload information amount impaired performance significantly, while flash frequency yielded no significant effect on human performance in fatigue condition. Besides, fatigue interacted with amount of information. Interestingly, in fatigue condition when the information amount raised up to 5, the response time significantly decreased by 100ms compared with 4, while in normal condition the response time increased with the information amount increasing. The findings suggested that fatigue and overload information amount are risk factors of aviation safety, and flash frequency has no mitigating effect under fatigue condition.
Keywords: Pilot Fatigue, Sleep Deprivation, Arousal effect
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