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Measuring mental workload and physiological reactions in marine pilots: building bridges towards redlines of performance


Orlandi, L and Brooks, B, Measuring mental workload and physiological reactions in marine pilots: building bridges towards redlines of performance, Applied Ergonomics, 69 pp. 74-92. ISSN 0003-6870 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.apergo.2018.01.005


This paper investigates the effects of shiphandling manoeuvres on mental workload and physiological reactions in ten marine pilots. Each pilot performed four berthings in a ship simulator. Those berthings were differentiated by two factors, level of difficulty and familiarity with the port. Each berthing could also be divided into five phases, three during the execution and two resting periods, one before and one after the execution (dedicated to baseline physiological data collection). Mental workload was measured through two self assessment scales: the NASA TLX and a Likert scale. Power spectral densities on Beta bands 1 and 2 were obtained from EEG. Heart rate and heart rate variability were obtained from ECG. Pupil dilation was obtained from eye tracking. Workload levels were higher as berthings increased in difficulty level and/or the pilots completed the berthings in unfamiliar ports. Responses differed across specific phases of the berthings. Physiological responses could indirectly monitor levels of mental workload, and could be adopted in future applications to evaluate training improvements and performance. This study provides an example of an applied methodology aiming to define an upper redline of task demands in the context of marine pilotage.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:mental workload, marine pilotage, physiological measures
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Industrial and organisational psychology (incl. human factors)
Objective Division:Transport
Objective Group:Water transport
Objective Field:Domestic passenger water transport (e.g. ferries)
UTAS Author:Orlandi, L (CAPT Luca Orlandi)
UTAS Author:Brooks, B (Associate Professor Benjamin Brooks)
ID Code:123673
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:41
Deposited By:Seafaring and Maritime Operations
Deposited On:2018-01-18
Last Modified:2018-12-14

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