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Motion-induced Human Performance Degradation Assessment


OBJECTIVE: Develop methods, metrics, and technologies to assess the impact of motion-induced interruptions and motion-based mediating variables such as sopite syndrome and motion sickness on human performance. DESCRIPTION: Warfighters are exposed to a multitude of motions resulting from weather and sea conditions. Ship motion directly impacts human performance via motion-induced interruptions (MIIs) as well as through mediating variables such as motion sickness and sopite syndrome. There are large individual differences in motion sickness susceptibility (Kennedy, Dunlap, and Fowlkes, 1990). Motion sickness symptoms include stomach awareness, malaise, cold sweating, pallor, nausea, and emesis (McCauley et al., 1976). In some individuals motion sickness may impact their ability to complete essential tasks. Ship motions may also disturb the balance of crew members, increase the energy expenditure of individuals working on board, and often result in increased levels of fatigue and drowsiness (Stevens and Parsons, 2002). Additionally, sopite syndrome presents a unique motion-related sickness profile that may also impact performance. Sopite syndrome relates symptoms of fatigue, drowsiness, and mood changes to prolonged periods of motion and has been attributed to motion-induced drowsiness (Gaybriel and Knepton, 1976). Methods, metrics, and technologies are needed to support the assessment of MIIs and the impact of mediating variables on human performance within operational environments. MIIs have traditionally been thought of as interruptions in gross motor movements and control, such as balance, and have been categorized as trips, slips, and falls (or compensatory actions to prevent these errors). Motion-related performance interruptions, however, may also include errors such as pressing the wrong button on a touch screen. Therefore, consideration must also be given to fine motor movements and manual dexterity with relation to ship motion. Validated paper-based assessment tools exist for assessing some aspects of motion-induced human performance degradation such as motion sickness. Limitations of this approach include cumbersome and time consuming data collection and analysis processes. To address these limitations, a comprehensive technology-based tool set is necessary to provide real-time and longitudinal assessments within operational environments. PHASE I: Develop the framework for methods, metrics, and technology tools to assess and predict human performance degradation resulting from MIIs, sopite syndrome, and motion sickness. The components in the framework should build on and extend current state-of-the-art capabilities. Proposed data collection and analysis technologies should be unobtrusive and capable of collecting multiple sources of data simultaneously and synchronizing that data. PHASE II: Develop a prototype suite of tools based on the framework established in Phase I. Conduct an initial validation of the tools through empirical evaluations with a targeted naval user community within a relevant environment. PHASE III: Produce and market the suite of data collection tools for integration with ship and submarine test and evaluation programs. PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The suite of tools (methods, metrics, and technologies) will have widespread applications to military, government, and private sector organizations in which it is important to assess the impact of motion-induced interruptions and motion-based mediating variables on human performance. REFERENCES: 1. Graybiel, A., Knepton, J. 1976."Sopite Syndrome: A Sometimes Sole Manifestation of Motion Sickness."Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine: 47 (8), pp. 873882. 2. Kennedy, Robert S., William P. and Jennifer E. Fowlkes. 1990."Prediction of Motion Sickness Susceptibility."I: Vol. 1, Ch. 11, pp. 179-215. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. 3. Michael E. McCauley, Jackson W. Royal, C. Dennis Wylie, James F. O'Hanlon and Robert R. Mackie.1976."Motion Sickness Incidence: Exploratory Studies of Habituation, Pitch and Roll, and the Refinement of a Mathematical Model."Technical Report No. 1733-2. Office of Naval Research. Arlington, VA. 4. Samson Stevensand Michael G. Parsons.2002."Effects of Motion at Sea on Crew Performance: A Survey."Marine Technology, 39 (1), pp. 29-47.
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