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In silico vs. Over the Clouds: On-the-Fly Mental State Estimation of Aircraft Pilots, Using a Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Based Passive-BCI

Gateau, Thibault and Ayaz, Hasan and Dehais, Frédéric In silico vs. Over the Clouds: On-the-Fly Mental State Estimation of Aircraft Pilots, Using a Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy Based Passive-BCI. (2018) Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12. 1-14. ISSN 1662-5161

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2018.00187

Abstract

There is growing interest for implementing tools to monitor cognitive performance in naturalistic work and everyday life settings. The emerging field of research, known as neuroergonomics, promotes the use of wearable and portable brain monitoring sensors such as functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to investigate cortical activity in a variety of human tasks out of the laboratory. The objective of this study was to implement an on-line passive fNIRS-based brain computer interface to discriminate two levels of working memory load during highly ecological aircraft piloting tasks. Twenty eight recruited pilots were equally split into two groups (flight simulator vs. real aircraft). In both cases, identical approaches and experimental stimuli were used (serial memorization task, consisting in repeating series of pre-recorded air traffic control instructions, easy vs. hard). The results show pilots in the real flight condition committed more errors and had higher anterior prefrontal cortex activation than pilots in the simulator, when completing cognitively demanding tasks. Nevertheless, evaluation of single trial working memory load classification showed high accuracy (>76%) across both experimental conditions. The contributions here are two-fold. First, we demonstrate the feasibility of passively monitoring cognitive load in a realistic and complex situation (live piloting of an aircraft). In addition, the differences in performance and brain activity between the two experimental conditions underscore the need for ecologically-valid investigations.

Item Type:Article
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:Other partners > Drexel University (USA)
Université de Toulouse > Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace - ISAE-SUPAERO (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
Funders:
AXARF, DGA MRIS
Statistics:download
Deposited By: Frédéric Dehais
Deposited On:11 Jul 2018 14:23

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