In plane sight: Inattentional blindness affects visual detection of external targets in simulated flight

Appl Ergon. 2021 Sep 9;98:103578. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2021.103578. Online ahead of print.ABSTRACTAviation places significant demands on pilots' perceptual and attentional capacities. The avoidance of other objects both on the ground and in the air is critical to safe flight. Research on automobile driving has revealed the occurrence of 'inattentional blindness' (IB) whereby objects clearly located within the visual field may not detected when drivers are concurrently engaged in another attention capturing task such as a cellphone conversation. Almost no comparable research has been conducted within the aviation domain despite the significance of both ground-based and mid-air collisions. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of diverting attentional resources away from the primary task of safely flying a simulated light aircraft from takeoff to cruising. Flight naïve students were trained to proficiency in a flight-simulator and flew two simulated flights with and without a competing attentional task. Detection of a variety of objects placed in the background was measured. The results showed that when distracted by an engaging cellphone conversation novice pilots failed to detect many of the objects located within the visual scene. Recognition accuracy was greater when pilots' attention was not diverted elsewhere. There was a reduction in time spent looking at some key flight instruments but not on others. Inattentional blindness poses significant fl...
Source: Applied Ergonomics - Category: Occupational Health Authors: Source Type: research

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Source: The Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology - Category: ENT & OMF Authors: Source Type: research
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