The Influence of Gait on Cognitive Functions: Promising Factor for Adapting Systems to the Worker’s Need in a Picking Context
We investigated the influence of gait and smart devices on selective attention in an order picking setting employing a task switching paradigm and an Eriksen flanker task. A cue indicated the relevant customer order (one of two tasks) and thereby the correct stimulus-response rule either via smart glasses or headset. The task transition (repetition vs. switch) was varied randomly in mixed blocks and kept constant in single blocks. Participants (n = 24) were asked to classify the central letter of a five-letter string with a manual response (left vs. right). Importantly, the central letter was either congruent or incongruent with the surrounding letters. Participants were either walking at their personal comfort speed or standing on a treadmill. We registered response times and error rates as dependent variables. The combination of a particular smart device and walking condition determined the effect on attention and thus the order picker’s mental state: In mixed task response times, switch costs were higher for headset use than smart glasses, while incongruent flankers were especially harmful while walking wearing smart glasses. In single task errors, congruency effects were more pronounced for headset use than smart glasses but only while standing, not while walking. Results show context-specific effects, suggesting that gait speed and performance requirements can be used as cognitive load indicators in technical systems to adapt instructions.
KeywordsCognitive performance Gait Adaptive systems
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