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Improving pilot mental workload evaluation with combined measures


Behavioral performance, subjective assessment based on NASA Task Load Index (NASA-TLX), as well as physiological measures indexed by electrocardiograph (ECG), event-related potential (ERP), and eye tracking data were used to assess the mental workload (MW) related to flight tasks. Flight simulation tasks were carried out by 12 healthy participants under different MW conditions. The MW conditions were manipulated by setting the quantity of flight indicators presented on the head-up display (HUD) in the cruise phase. In this experiment, the behavioral performance and NASA-TLX could reflect the changes of MW ideally. For physiological measures, the indices of heart rate variability (HRV), P3a, pupil diameter and eyelid opening were verified to be sensitive to MW changes. Our findings can be applied to the comprehensive evaluation of MW during flight tasks and the further quantitative classification.