Objective:In a simulated combat vehicle, uni-, bi-, and trimodal cueing of direction to threat were compared with the purpose to investigate whether multisensory redundant information may enhance dynamic perception and performance.
Background: Previous research has shown that multimodal display presentation can enhance perception of information and task performance.
Method: Two experiments in a simulated combat vehicle were performed under the instructions to turn the vehicle toward the threat as fast and accurately as possible after threat cue onset. In Experiment 1, direction to threat was presented by four display types: visual head-down display, tactile belt, 3-D audio, and trimodal with the three displays combined. In Experiment 2, direction to threat was presented by three display types: visual head-up display (HUD)–3-D audio, tactile belt–3-D audio, and trimodal with HUD, tactile belt, and 3-D audio combined.
Results: In Experiment 1, the trimodal display provided overall best performance and perception of threat direction. In Experiment 2, both the trimodal and HUD–3-D audio displays led to overall best performance, and the trimodal display provided overall the best perception of threat direction. None of the trimodal displays induced higher mental workload or secondary task interference.
Conclusion: The trimodal displays provided overall enhanced perception and performance in the dynamically framed threat scenario and did not entail higher mental workload or decreased spare capacity.
Application: Trimodal displays with redundant information may contribute to safer and more reliable peak performance in time-critical dynamic tasks and especially in more extreme and stressful situations with high perceptual or mental workload.
2012. Vol. 54, no 1, 121-136 p.