Cognitive Workload and Personality Style in Pilots Heart Rate Study

Abstract : The cognitive overload and emotion experienced by drivers become a primordial issue to study distraction. This is also the case in aviation, where pilots are commonly exposed to different sources of cognitive and emotional stressors and distractors [1]. Therefore, the integration of an online monitoring to assess the cognitive variations into the cockpit would be highly desirable to alert of delicate mental states. To this aim, reliable physiological measures are required. Electrocardiography (ECG) can be considered as one of the most suitable and cost-effective techniques providing powerful and relevant features to study driver distraction and cognitive workload [2, 3]. Heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) parameters extracted from ECG signals are employed in aeronautics to determine the impact of different levels of mental overload in performance and decision-making [4, 5]. According to their findings, an increase in HR together with a decrease in HRV will be expected when cognitive workload becomes higher. Furthermore, the personality is an important factor to take into consideration for drivers and pilots [6, 7]. Several research works have indicated a particular personality profile in pilots, whose neuroticism component is significantly lower than the population norm [8], while they score higher on the conscientiousness facets [9]. Given that physiological responses in general, and the cardiovascular activity in particular, are affected by personality traits [10, 11], it is important to consider this issue in order to better control individual differences and to reach a fine-grained interpretation of the ECG measures linked to the pilot distraction produced by a supplementary task simultaneous to the flight. In this pilot study, the HR modulation susceptibility to arousal level elicited by a social stressor and the cognitive workload is study in 21 private pilots.
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Antonio R. Hidalgo-Muñoz, Damien Mouratille, Mickaël Causse, Nadine Matton, Yves Rouillard, et al.. Cognitive Workload and Personality Style in Pilots Heart Rate Study. DDiI 2018, 6th International Conference on Driver Distraction and Inattention, Oct 2018, Gothenburg, Sweden. ⟨hal-02122186⟩

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