Inattentional Blindness in Head-Mounted Displays

McIntyre, Daniel (2013). Inattentional Blindness in Head-Mounted Displays Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author McIntyre, Daniel
Thesis Title Inattentional Blindness in Head-Mounted Displays
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2013-10-09
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Penelope Sanderson
Total pages 108
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Head-mounted displays (HMDs) and similar display technologies are becoming increasingly prominent in safety-critical domains such as aviation and medicine. A concern for use, however, is that the HMDs may cause a perceptual phenomenon called Inattentional Blindness (IAB), wherein unexpected visual events can go completely unnoticed by the observer. The current thesis investigated IAB in HMD use with 2 consecutive studies. The first aimed to replicate the findings from Liu et al. (2009) where anesthetists took a significantly longer time to notice an unexpected change in patient vital signs (a change in a sine-wave) on HMDs than when using normal monitors. This was done by using an experimental procedure adapted from Tear et al. (2013) where participants performed an engaging perceptual-motor task (a pellet transfer task) while detecting unexpected changes in visual stimulus (waveform versus numerical) on either a HMD or laptop monitor positioned to the right of the participant. Participant expectation was manipulated by giving increasingly comprehensive instructions throughout the three experimental blocks. It was predicted that (1) the detection of waveform events would be significantly slower in the HMD condition compared to the monitor condition and (2) the detection of number events would be significantly faster in the HMD condition compared to the monitor condition. The results from Experiment 1 supported the first hypothesis but not the second where the HMD condition detected numbers significantly faster than the monitor condition, but did not detect waveforms significantly slower. This was followed up a second study, which retained the same experimental design, but with two major changes. The first was increasing the visual stimulus event duration from 24 seconds to 40 seconds. The second was to move the placement of the laptop monitor from the participant’s right to directly beside the pellet task monitor. Two competing exploratory hypotheses were proposed (1) there would be no difference in stimulus detection for participants in the monitor condition and (2) the monitor condition would become statistically indistinguishable from the HMD condition due to its position in peripheral view. Results partially supported the second hypothesis, with monitor condition participants in one experimental block detecting waveform events significantly slower than number events. This study has important implications in terms of HMD use, design, and the stimuli they display.
Keyword Inattentional Blindness
head-mounted displays

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Created: Thu, 03 Jul 2014, 10:03:23 EST by Danico Jones on behalf of School of Psychology