Vigilance pp 1-25 | Cite as


Background of the Symposium
  • Robert R. Mackie
Part of the NATO Conference Series book series (NATOCS, volume 3)


Not everyone agrees on the origin of vigilance research, but it can be traced back at least to the introduction of assembly-line methods to industry. As early as 1932, research had been performed on performance trends in visual inspection tasks (Wyatt & Langdon, 1932). However, the development of strong interest in vigilance research is generally attributed to studies of performance decrements of ships’ lookouts and airborne radar operators during World War II (Baker, 1962). The tasks of these operators embodied the essential vigilance features of sustained attention for low probability events under monotonous conditions. Many of today’s military, industrial, and transportation systems still embody these features and this sustains much present-day interest in vigilance (Adams, 1965).


Heart Rate Variability Sleep Deprivation Sustained Attention Secondary Task Contingent Negative Variation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert R. Mackie
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Factors Research, IncorporatedGoletaUSA

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