Eye Metrics: An Alternative Vigilance Detector for Military Operators

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Abstract

Military operators in various environments such as cyber, remotely piloted aircraft, and image analysis are required to use sustained attention or vigilance for long periods. During this time they encounter lapses in attention attributable to the monotonous nature of their tasks. Mistakes during these tasks can have serious consequences. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of an eye-tracker to detect changes in vigilance performance during a simulated cyber operator task. Twenty participants performed 4 sessions of a 40-min vigilance task while wearing an eye-tracker. Blink frequency, blink duration, PERCLOS (percentage of eye closure), pupil diameter, pupil eccentricity, pupil velocity, and signal detection all had a significant change over time (p < .05) during the task. The significant change of oculometric measurements indicates oculometrics could be used to detect changes in vigilance for military operators. Future research is needed to assess real-time effects of these oculometrics on performance, especially in a real-world setting.

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