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Event-Related Brain Potentials as Predictors of Target Detection Performance in a Moving Waterfall Display Simulating Passive Broad-Band Sonar Monitoring
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Fifteen subjects performed in a visual target detection task that took place in a simulated broad-band, sonar monitoring display. Over a one-hour test session, subjects attempted to detect two types of targets presented at an average rate of 3minute on a continuously updated waterfall display. Event- related brain potentials were recorded in response to the two classes of targets growing lines of lighted pixels that simulated an acoustic source in the surroundings and briefly flashed vertical lines as well as to two types of irrelevant probe stimuli occasional tone pips and diffuse flashes of the video screen. ERP amplitudes were significantly related to target detection performance in several ways. A late positive component P300 was enlarged in response to correctly detected targets, particularly in subjects who were performing with a high level of accuracy. Specific ERP components elicited by both targets and irrelevant probes during the first 6 minutes of the session were found to be predictive of subsequent performance accuracy during the hour- long session in subjects studied under alert and drowsy conditions. These findings suggest the application of ERP measures to evaluate fitness for duty of operators in task situations requiring a high level of vigilance, such as radar and sonar operators, air traffic controllers, etc
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE