Physiological Self-Regulation and Adaptive Automation

  • Prinzel III L
  • Pope A
  • Freeman F
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Adaptive automation has been proposed as a solution to current problems of human-automation interaction. Past research has shown the potential of this advanced form of automation to enhance pilot engagement and lower cognitive workload. However, there have been concerns voiced regarding issues, such as automation surprises, associated with the use of adaptive automation. This study examined the use of psychophysiological self-regulation training with adaptive automation that may help pilots deal with these problems through the enhancement of cognitive resource management skills. Eighteen participants were assigned to 3 groups (self-regulation training, false feedback, and control) and performed resource management, monitoring, and tracking tasks from the Multiple Attribute Task Battery. The tracking task was cycled between 3 levels of task difficulty (automatic, adaptive aiding, manual) on the basis of the electroencephalogram-derived engagement index. The other two tasks remained in automatic mode that had a single automation failure. Those participants who had received self-regulation training performed significantly better and reported lower National Aeronautics and Space Administration Task Load Index scores than participants in the false feedback and control groups. The theoretical and practical implications of these results for adaptive automation are discussed.

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  • Lawrence J. Prinzel III

  • Alan T. Pope

  • Frederick G. Freeman

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