Attentional drift : an exploratory study on the development of an attention monitoring system based on human eye fixation
Magedman, Douglas M.
Shattuck, Lawrence G.
McCauley, Michael E.
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This study was designed to determine if future research into the development of an attention monitoring device based on eye fixation duration is both feasible and warranted. Attentional Drift is an insidious form of distraction where primary task attention is slowly eroded by secondary tasking. It can occur in either very low or very high cognitive demand situations. Recent studies have shown eye fixation duration and glance duration measures have close correlations to attentional demand in visual tasks. In this study, participants completed two 20-minute driving periods in a STISIMtm based simulator wearing a head-mounted eye-tracking system. Eye fixation measures recorded in a single-task low mental demand test did not show a significant increase in eye fixation duration over time in all participants. A second test incorporating secondary task through varied types of conversation did show that eye fixation duration values were affected by thee added cognitive workload. Eye fixation measures showed statistically significant changes in duration as direct result of varying secondary cognitive demand. It is concluded that further experimentation incorporating eye blink-rate factors, utilization of a fixed-base eye-tracking system with a gaze dwell time function and significantly lengthened test runs is both feasible and warranted.
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