Is it possible to “quantify” an operator’s expertise by recording his/her physiological cognitive reaction that occurs during the execution of a task?
According to several psychological models about the Human Factor, an operator’s behavior during the execution of a task could be managed by different levels of cognitive control, more or less automatic, on the basis of how much the operator is familiar with the task itself within the test environment, and definitely on the basis of his/her expertise.
Several cognitive processes, different in intensity and type (attention, working memory, mental effort), are linked to the control level - and therefore to the expertise. These kinds of processes occur at a subconscious level, and the neurometrics developed by BrainSigns (which are based on the cerebral signals), may give access to such information, otherwise unobtainable, by using traditional methods based on the operators’ performances and on their own declarations.
So far, BrainSigns team has published many research works - available on international journals and conferences’ proceedings – which deal with the expertise’s evaluation of professional and trainee Air-Traffic-Controllers, both in lab contexts and in operational environments.
Technologies involved are the following ones:
- Electroencephalography (EEG) to monitoring workload levels
- Heart Rate (HR) to detect the emotional engagement
- Algorithms for the online workload assessment
Thanks to the technologies above mentioned:
- the cognitive processes adopted by the operator, related to his/her expertise, are evaluated even online in different real operational environments.
- The developed algorithms could be easily integrated within different systems already existing, such as simulators, users’ interface, or even means of transports.
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- The possibility to evaluate online the cognitive control performed by the operator during the execution of a specific task
- Objective measures useful to compare different technologies, in terms of cognitive control generated in operators during similar occurrences
- Objective measures useful to compare different operators, in terms of cognitive control performed during particular occurrences, to assess their suitability to face them, in order to select operators more apt to specific positions (e.g. dangerous or stressful positions)
- Implementation of neurometrics estimation algorithms in systems already existing (e.g simulators, users’ interfaces, etc.)
- The possibility to improve the Human Machine Interaction (HMI) by developing adaptive interface systems
- Better safety with error risks’ reduction, thanks to this additional check within the operational environments
- Which is the actual operator’s expertise level - in terms of “automaticity” with which he/she mentally executes the task?
- Is it possible to identify, among different operators with the same levels of performance, those ones that need additional practice to develop “automaticity” in the execution of a task?
- Is it possible to identify, among different technologies apt to test operators with the same levels of efficiency and expertise, those ones specifically suitable to face particular situations?