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The Effect of Stimulus Modality on Signal Detection: Implications for Assessing the Safety of In-Vehicle Technology

Merat, N and Jamson, AH (2008) The Effect of Stimulus Modality on Signal Detection: Implications for Assessing the Safety of In-Vehicle Technology. Human Factors, 50 (1). 145 - 158 . ISSN 0018-7208

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Abstract

Objective: This study examined the effect of two in-vehicle information systems (IVIS) on signal detection in the visual, auditory, and tactile modalities; established whether the detrimental effects of an IVIS on driving could be quantified by these detection tasks; and examined the effect of stimulus modality on signal detection. Background: The peripheral detection task has been used widely for assessing the effects of an IVIS on driving. However, performance on this task relies on drivers' ability to see a series of LEDs, which can be problematic in field tests (e.g., on sunny days). Method: Participants responded to one of three detection tasks during a simulated driving experiment. The effect of IVIS interaction on these detection tasks was also measured. Reduced performance in the detection tasks was assumed to indicate a decline in drivers' ability to handle sudden events in the driving task. Results: Response time to all detection tasks increased by around 200 ms when drivers performed the IVIS tasks, as compared with baseline driving. Analyses of variance and comparison of effect sizes showed the effects of these two IVISs to be the same across the three detection tasks. Conclusion: These detection tasks are useful for quantifying the safety of an IVIS during driving. The absence of a difference in signal detection by modality suggests that performance on these tasks relies on general attentional resources and is not modality specific. Application: The signal detection tasks employed here should be further investigated for their suitability in assessing the safety of in-vehicle systems.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: target detection, in-vehicle technology
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Depositing User: Symplectic Publications
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2012 13:30
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:36
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1518/001872008X250656
Status: Published
Publisher: Sage Publications
Identification Number: 10.1518/001872008X250656
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43637

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