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Neurophotonics • Open Access

Utilizing functional near-infrared spectroscopy for prediction of cognitive workload in noisy work environments
Author(s): Ryan D. Gabbard; Mary Fendley; Irfaan A. Dar; Rik Warren; Nasser H. Kashou

Paper Abstract

Occupational noise frequently occurs in the work environment in military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations. This impacts cognitive performance by acting as a stressor, potentially interfering with the analysts’ decision-making process. We investigated the effects of different noise stimuli on analysts’ performance and workload in anomaly detection by simulating a noisy work environment. We utilized functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to quantify oxy-hemoglobin (HbO) and deoxy-hemoglobin concentration changes in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), as well as behavioral measures, which include eye tracking, reaction time, and accuracy rate. We hypothesized that noisy environments would have a negative effect on the participant in terms of anomaly detection performance due to the increase in workload, which would be reflected by an increase in PFC activity. We found that HbO for some of the channels analyzed were significantly different across noise types (p<0.05). Our results also indicated that HbO activation for short-intermittent noise stimuli was greater in the PFC compared to long-intermittent noises. These approaches using fNIRS in conjunction with an understanding of the impact on human analysts in anomaly detection could potentially lead to better performance by optimizing work environments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 August 2017
PDF: 9 pages
Neurophoton. 4(4) 041406 doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.4.4.041406
Published in: Neurophotonics Volume 4, Issue 4
Show Author Affiliations
Ryan D. Gabbard, Wright State Univ. (United States)
Mary Fendley, Wright State Univ. (United States)
Irfaan A. Dar, Wright State Univ. (United States)
Rik Warren, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Nasser H. Kashou, Wright State Univ. (United States)

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