A new study in Frontiers in Neuroscience presents an integration of a passive brain-computer interface (pBCI) and cognitive modeling as a method to trace pilots’ perception and processing of auditory alerts and messages during flight.
When flying aircraft, missing alerts on the flight deck can result in problems that can lead to accidents. By tracing pilots’ perception and responses to alerts, cognitive assistance can be provided based on individual needs to ensure they maintain adequate situation awareness.
The researchers looked at aircrew in a simulated flight study dealing with multiple alerts and air traffic control messages in single pilot setup. A classifier was trained to identify pilots’ neurophysiological reactions to alerts and messages from participants’ electroencephalogram (EEG).
The researchers found that a passive brain-computer interface can distinguish between alerts that are processed by the pilot as task-relevant or irrelevant in the cockpit based on the recorded EEG. The neuroadaptive model’s integration of this data resulted in significantly high accuracy in representing individual pilots’ responses to alerts and messages. Such neuroadaptive technology allows for implicit measurement and tracing of pilots’ perception and processing of alerts and situational awareness on the flight deck.