A study was conducted to examine the effectiveness of perceptual and cognitive intervention tasks on mitigating vigilance decrements commonly observed in sustained attention tasks. Sixteen participants were randomly assigned to one of two experimental intervention conditions (perceptual or cognitive). Half of the participants completed a 45-minute “No Intervention” Control trial first, followed by one of the Intervention trials, also 45 minutes. The other half completed one of the Intervention trials first, followed by the No intervention trial. Following each trial, participants completed the SSSQ and the NASA TLX. As expected, a general decrease in objective performance over time was observed. However, contrary to expectations and prior research (St. John & Risser, 2007), the experimental intervention tasks did not reduce decrements in target acquisition performance over time, nor did they reduce subjective workload. The authors discuss methodological differences between the St. John and Risser study and the current study that may have contributed to differences in the effectiveness of the vigilance mitigation interventions in the two studies.
French, G. A.,
Carretta, T. R.,
& Flach, J. K.
(2011). Vigilance Decrements in a Sustained Attention Task: Examination of a Mitigation Strategy. 16th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 357-362.