Crossmodal spatial and temporal links in attention: Their performance effects in complex event-driven domains
Single Paper Presentation
University of Michigan - Industrial and Operations Engineering
Abstract ID Number: 81
June 4, 2007
Presentation date: 07/07/2007 4:10 PM in Quad General Lecture Theatre
To date, the design of multimodal human-machine interfaces for complex real-world domains has rarely taken into consideration research findings suggesting the existence of crossmodal links in attention. This can be explained, in part, by the fact that crossmodal links have been studied primarily in laboratory settings involving few and simple cues and tasks. It is not clear whether the findings from these studies scale to more complex settings. This paper will present findings from two recent studies examining the question of scalability in the context of military simulations. While driving a vehicle through hostile territory, participants were presented with lateralized indications that informed them about threats in their environment. Ipsilateral and contralateral auditory and tactile cues preceded these indications at varying stimulus-onset asynchronies (SOAs). Our findings indicate that detection rates and response times for lateralized indications improved significantly at SOAs above 500ms. Significant asymmetric performance effects of crossmodal spatial links were observed. In particular, ipsilateral crossmodal cuing was beneficial only for auditory cuing of visual targets, and significantly faster responses were found for contralateral tactile cuing of auditory targets. Overall, these results highlight the importance of taking into account crossmodal links in attention to ensure the robustness of multimodal interfaces.