Using an auditory display to manage attention in a dual task, multiscreen environment
Stroup, J. L.
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Spatialized sound technology is under consideration for use in future U. S. Navy watchstation systems as a technique to manage attention. In this study, we looked at whether spatialized sound would reduce head movements. The subjects used a simulated watchstation that had three displays, one forward and one on each side. A dual task paradigm was used that included a continuous tracking task in one window and an intermittent task in another window. These two windows were presented adjacent to each other in the center display or opposite each other on the side displays. Subjects performed the dual task with and without sound. Head turns were recorded manually and were found to be significantly fewer in number when sound was present. Further, when sound was present, subjects used its cessation as an indication of a successfully entered response. This aural feedback reduced head movements that would normally be made to confirm the successful data entry. Together with other results on reaction time and accuracy, these results provide persuasive support for the use of spatialized sound to direct attention.