Attentional Switch Characteristics are Correlated with the Performance of Simulated Aviation Task

  • Feng Du
  • Jie Zhang
  • Mengnuo Dai
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 529)


The present study explored what attentional switch characteristics are correlated with simulated aviation task performance. We measure the attentional switch characteristics based on three AB indices. When two targets are presented in a RSVP stream, the impairment in identification of the second target (T2) after correct report of the first target (T1) is attentional blink (AB). First, the overall switch cost is the AB magnitude which is the difference between the highest and lowest accuracy of T2 given correct report of T1 (T2/T1) across five T1-T2 intervals. Second, the general cost of processing T1 is measured by the average accuracy of T2/T1 across intervals. Finally, the AB dwell time is measured by the temporal interval when the accuracy of T2/T1 reach the lowest level across five T1-T2 intervals. The Multi-Attribute Task Battery (MATB) is used to simulate aviation tasks. The results show (1) AB dwell time is significantly correlated with the RT of monitoring dashboard; (2) average accuracy of T2/T1 is correlated with the performance of multiple tasks in the MATB including monitoring dashboard, resource management and tracking tasks. These results indicated that several AB indices might be useful for predicting the simulated aviation performance.


Attentional switch characteristics Attentional blink Multi-attribute task battery Simulated aviation performance 



This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31470982 & 31200766), the key project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KJZD-EW-L04), and the scientific foundation of the Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (Y4CX033008).


  1. 1.
    North, R.A., Gopher, D.: Measures of attention as predictors of flight performance. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 18, 1–14 (1976)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hardy, D.J., Parasuraman, R.: Cognition and flight performance in older pilots. J. Exp. Psychol. Appl. 3, 313–348 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Du, F., Ge, Y., Qu, W., Sun., X., Wu, J., Zhang, K., Zhang, L.: Attention, peri-personal perception, and visual displays in space. In: Human Performance in Space: Advancing Astronautics Research in China, pp. 4–5. Science/AAAS, Washington, DC (2014)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wang, C., Tian, Y., Chen, S., Tian, Z., Jiang, T., Du, F.: Predicting performance in manually controlled rendezvous and docking through spatial abilities. Adv. Space Res. 53(2), 362–369 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Du, F., Zhang, K., Abrams, R.A.: Hold the future, Let the past go: Attention prefers the features of future targets. Cognition 131, 205–215 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chun, M.M., Potter, M.C.: A two-stage model for multiple target detection in rapid serial visual presentation. J. Exp. Psychol. Hum. Percept. Perform. 21, 109 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Raymond, J.E., Shapiro, K.L., Arnell, K.M.: Similarity determines the attentional blink. J. Exp. Psychol. Hum. Percept. Perform. 21, 653–662 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Shapiro, K.L., Caldwell, J., Sorensen, R.E.: Personal names and the attentional blink: A visual “cocktail party” effect. J. Exp. Psychol. Hum. Percept. Perform. 23, 504–514 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Visser, T.A.W., Bischof, W.F., Di Lollo, V.: Attentional switching in spatial and nonspatial domains: evidence from the attentional blink. Psychol. Bull. 125, 458–469 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Du, F., Abrams, R.A., Zhang, K.: Spatial distribution of the attentional blink. Front. Cogn. 2, 360 (2011)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Du, F., Qi, Y., Zhang, K.: Spatial distribution of attention during attentional blink is influenced by eye movements. Perception 42, 907–931 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Du, F., Abrams, R.A.: Onset capture requires attention. Psychon. Bull. Rev. 16, 537–541 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Du, F., Abrams, R.A.: Endogenous orienting is reduced during the attentional blink. Exp. Brain Res. 205, 115–121 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Du, F., Yang, J., Yin, Y., Zhang, K., Abrams, R.A.: On the automaticity of contingent capture: disruption caused by the attentional blink. Psychon. Bull. Rev. 20, 95–944 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Arnegard, R.J., Comstock, J., Jr.: Multi-Attribute Task Battery-Applications in pilot workload and strategic behavior research (1991)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations