The impact of breaks on sustained attention in a simulated, semi-automated train control task

Amelia Rees, Mark W. Wiggins*, William S. Helton, Thomas Loveday, David O'Hare

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Summary: Sustained attention is a factor in many work environments where operators intervene on a regular basis to ensure the safety and security of a system. Different types of activity during break periods may facilitate different levels of performance following extended periods of attention in these environments. The impact of five different breaks from task activity was assessed against the performance of a no-break control group during a simulated, high signal probability rail control task. A total of 87 university students were assigned to a no-break control condition, or one of five break activity conditions that occurred between two, 20-minute periods of simulated rail control. Post-break, the analysis revealed that, in comparison to the control condition, performance was greater in all of the five break conditions. Any activity that drew operators' attention from the primary rail control task enabled improvements in performance beyond a no-break control task.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)351-359
    Number of pages9
    JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
    Volume31
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2017

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of breaks on sustained attention in a simulated, semi-automated train control task'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this