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Augmented Cognition and the Cognitive Cockpit

Augmented Cognition and the Cognitive Cockpit. LT Jefferson D. Grubb MSC USN NAVAIR Human Systems Department. Aircrew Information Needs. Flight Information Speed, altitude, attitude etc. Systems information RPM, temperature, voltage, fuel etc. Navigation information

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Augmented Cognition and the Cognitive Cockpit

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  1. Augmented Cognition and the Cognitive Cockpit LT Jefferson D. Grubb MSC USN NAVAIR Human Systems Department

  2. Aircrew Information Needs • Flight Information • Speed, altitude, attitude etc. • Systems information • RPM, temperature, voltage, fuel etc. • Navigation information • Where am I? Where is the airport? Where is that mountain? • Mission Information • Targets, Traffic, Threats, etc

  3. Evolution of the Navy Cockpit

  4. Effective Cockpit Design • Cockpits are designed to a happy medium

  5. Phonological loop Visuospatial sketchpad Central Executive The Problem • Cockpits are static • Pilots’ information needs and capabilities are not • Performance changes with arousal • Modalities matter An adaptive cockpit would have to read the pilot’s mind

  6. Reading the Mind • Cognitive state is brain state • Neuroimaging techniques monitor brain state

  7. Neuroimaging Techniques • Electromagnetic techniques • EEG/ERP, MEG/ERF • Measure electromagnetic consequences of brain activity • Timing of brain activity • Intensity of brain activity • Hemodynamic techniques • fMRI, PET, fNIRS • Measure changes in blood flow and oxygenation associated with brain activity • Location of brain activity • Different locations are associated with different functions

  8. AugCog and CogPit • DARPA’s Improving Warfighter Information Intake Under Stress (formerly Augmented Cognition) Program • Apply neuroimaging to solve human factors problems • Cognitive Cockpit (CogPit) • Joint QinetiQ/Alion/NAVAIR project to apply neuroimaging to aviation

  9. Constraints on Techniques • Equipment • Cost • Size • Power consumption • “Weird Stuff” • Comfort

  10. Constraints on Techniques • Signal processing

  11. Techniques of Choice • EEG • Spectral Power Density • Interelectrode coherence • fNIRS • Blood Oxygenation

  12. How it Works • Hook the “pilot” up

  13. Calibrate • 3 levels of tracking task • 3 levels of Bakan task • 4 combinations of Bakan and Tracking 5

  14. CogMon • Records spectral power and interelectrode coherence • Produces linear model relating physiological signal to different levels of tracking and Bakan task • Rates subsequent recordings against model to produce judgment of pilot spatial and verbal workload in real time

  15. ATAS Cockpit • Low cost, maximally open source • Allows great flexibility to prototype “mitigation strategies”

  16. Knowledge Coordinator • Assesses pilot workload and mission context. • Triggers workload mitigations

  17. CogPit Closed Loop Information Control Inputs Mitigations EEG/fNIR Mission Context Cognitive Workload Measurement

  18. Mitigations • Attention • Declutter • Alerts • Executive Function • Function Automation • Sensory Input • Multimodal Cueing • Working Memory • Sequencing

  19. Does it work? Tests at NAVAIR are just getting underway • Specifics • Detection of cognitive state • Recent results from CogPit are promising • Actual flight tests of EEG workload monitor by other labs (AFRL, NRC Canada/U. of Iowa) • Mitigation Strategies • Too early to tell for current CogPit • Needs more focus

  20. Will the user accept it? You make the call…

  21. Road Ahead • The full closed-loop technology is not ready • Imaging equipment is bulky, temperamental, and uncomfortable • Mitigations are still in development • Bits of the technology could be useful in the near term.

  22. First Step: Hypoxia? • Poses danger to all high altitude operations • Factor in at least 16 mishaps (3 fatalities) in Naval aviation since 2001 • Naval Aviation has lost 0 TACAIR assets to enemy fire since Desert Storm

  23. Hypoxia Currently mitigated with altitude chamber training Symptoms are subtle and variable Fundamentally strikes at cognitive ability Current countermeasure hinges on ability of broken system to diagnose itself

  24. Hypoxia Detection with fNIRS • fNIRS passes near infrared light through the skull and measures absorption of different wavelengths • Oxygenated and deoxygenated blood preferentially absorb different wavelengths • Yields measure of both blood volume and blood oxygenation

  25. fNIRS potentially provides the basis for a hypoxia and G-LOC warning system • Open questions: • How reliable would such a system be? • What do we do with the information?

  26. Take Away • CogPit is a platform to develop cockpits that “read the pilot’s mind” to provide the pilot with the right information at the right time • The full technology is still a ways off, but subsets of it may be able to provide benefits to aviators much sooner

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