Document Detail

Flight display dynamics and compensatory head movements in pilots.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17571658     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
INTRODUCTION: Experiments measured the optokinetic cervical reflex (OKCR), wherein the banking pilot aligns the head with the horizon. In a synthetic cockpit, the flight display was manipulated to test whether changing the visual reference frame would alter OKCR. METHODS: Eight subjects (five rated pilots) flew a route in simulated visual meteorological conditions that required them to bank the aircraft frequently. Pilots' head tilt was characterized using both the conventional method of regressing against simultaneous aircraft bank, and also an event-based analysis, which identified head movements before, during, and after each turn. Three display configurations were compared to determine whether pilots' orientation would ever migrate from the horizon to the aircraft symbol. The first was a conventional "Inside-Out" condition. A "Frequency-Separated" condition combined Inside-Out horizon geometry with Outside-In dynamics for the aircraft symbol, which depicted joystick bank inputs. In the "Outside-In" condition, the aircraft symbol rolled against a static horizon. RESULTS: Regressions identified an interaction (p < 0.001) between display condition and aircraft bank: head tilt followed horizon tilt in Inside-Out and Frequency-Separated conditions, while remaining mostly level in the Outside-In condition. The event-based analysis identified anticipatory head movements in Inside-Out and Frequency-Separated conditions: 95% CI indicated that before each turn, head tilt favored the direction of the imminent bank. DISCUSSION: While the conventional analysis confirmed that the horizon comprises a primary spatial reference, the finer-grained event-based analysis indicated that pilots' reference can migrate at least temporarily to the vehicle, and that OKCR can be preceded by anticipatory head movements in the opposite direction.
Jeremy Beer; David Freeman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Aviation, space, and environmental medicine     Volume:  78     ISSN:  0095-6562     ISO Abbreviation:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Publication Date:  2007 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-06-18     Completed Date:  2007-07-24     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7501714     Medline TA:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  579-86     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Laser Vehicle Engagement Simulator Laboratory, Naval Health Research Center Directed Energy Bioeffects Laboratory: NHRC DET DEBL, 8315 Navy Road, Brooks AFB, TX 78235-5365, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Accidents, Aviation / prevention & control
Aerospace Medicine*
Head Movements / physiology*
Middle Aged
Military Personnel
Nystagmus, Optokinetic / physiology*
Reflex / physiology*
Reflex, Vestibulo-Ocular / physiology*
Space Perception / physiology
Spatial Behavior / physiology
Task Performance and Analysis
User-Computer Interface
Vision Disorders*
Visual Perception / physiology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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