Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Mary Fendley (Advisor), Nasser Kashou (Committee Member), Rik Warren (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (MSBME)


Occupational noise frequently occurs in the work environment in military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations. This impacts cognitive performance by acting as a stressor, potentially interfering with the analysts' decision making process. In this study the effects of different noise stimuli on analysts' performance and workload in anomaly detection were investigated by simulating a noisy work environment. Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) was utilized to quantify oxy-hemoglobin (HbO) and deoxy-hemoglobin (HbD) concentration changes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), as well as behavioral measures which include eye-tracking, reaction time, and accuracy rate. It was found that HbO for some of the channels analyzed were significantly different across noise types (p<0.05). The results indicated that HbO activation for short intermittent noise stimuli was greater in the PFC compared to long intermittent noises. Target transition rates were also significantly higher (p<0.05) for no noise conditions compared to noise filled environments. These approaches using fNIRS in conjunction with an understanding of the impact on human analysts in anomaly detection, could potentially lead to better performance by optimizing work environments.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Biomedical, Industrial & Human Factors Engineering

Year Degree Awarded