Differentiating cognitive complexity and cognitive load in high and low demand flight simulation tasks

Jemma Harris*, Mark Wiggins, Ben Morrison, Natalie Morrison

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    In the contemporary workplace, the design of interfaces has a significant impact on the cognitive demands experienced by operators. Previous approaches to the assessment of these designs have relied on measures of cognitive load to infer the level of cognitive demand imposed. Assessments of cognitive complexity may offer a complimentary measure of the demands of the task as they take into account the inherent nature of the task, rather than idiosyncrasies of the operator. Two studies are reported that examined the information acquisition behavior of pilots in response to a series of simulated flight sequences involving different levels of cognitive complexity. Information acquisition was recorded using an eye tracker. Taken together, the results suggest that assessments of the complexity of a task should be employed as a benchmark in task assessment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationComputer-Human Interaction. Cognitive Effects of Spatial Interaction, Learning, and Ability
    Subtitle of host publication25th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OzCHI 2013, Adelaide, SA, Australia, November 25-29, 2013. Revised and Extended Papers
    EditorsTheodor Wyeld, Paul Calder, Haifeng Shen
    Place of PublicationCham
    PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319169408
    ISBN (Print)9783319169392
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event25th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OzCHI 2013 - Adelaide, Australia
    Duration: 25 Nov 201329 Nov 2013

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
    PublisherSpringer International Publishing
    ISSN (Print)0302-9743
    ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


    Other25th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference, OzCHI 2013


    • aviation
    • cognitive complexity
    • cognitive load
    • eye movement
    • system design


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