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A Comparison of EEG and Evoked Response Data Collected in a UH-1 Helicopter to Data Collected in a Standard Laboratory Environment.

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The in-flight collection and analysis of physiological data such as central nervous system activity may provide real-time, objective evaluations of aviator status during flight operations. However, little research has been done to assess the feasibility and validity of such a strategy. Some investigations conducted in the fixed wing environment have suggested that tape-recorded electroencephalographic EEG data are sensitive to changes in cockpit workload, but similar studies have not been performed in rotary-wing aircraft. In addition, none of the past investigations have focused on real-time telemetry of EEG from pilots under actual in-flight conditions, nor have they considered the feasibility of collecting valid cortical evoked potentials from helicopter or fixed wing pilots in flight. The present investigation was designed to verify indications from a small, previously conducted USAARL investigation that useable spontaneous EEG recordings could be made from helicopter pilots in flight. In addition, this study examined the feasibility of recording and telemetering cortical evoked potentials from subjects flying a UH-1 helicopter. Twenty subjects 10 aviators and 10 nonaviators were tested both in the laboratory and in the aircraft. Spontaneous EEGs were collected once during eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions on the ground and once again in the air. Cortical evoked responses P300s were collected once on the ground and twice in the air initially after takeoff and prior to flying an instrument approach. The pilots remained on the controls during the collection of the second in-flight P300. Results confirmed indications from an earlier investigation that it was feasible to collect and telemeter valid spontaneous EEG activity from personnel flying onboard a UH-1 helicopter.

Subject Categories:

  • Helicopters
  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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