Scientific publications

Scientific publications constitute the path, evolution and memory of our knowledge of the sectors and fields of application of our studies.

In this section we present some of the most significant examples of our research.

03 DEC 2010

Driver workload and eye blink duration

Authors: S Benedetto, M Pedrotti, L Minin, T Baccino, A Re, R Montanari

Journal: Transportation research part F: traffic psychology and behaviour 14 (3), 199-208

The use of standardized methods in driver distraction research is essential for comparing results across studies. This work examined the effects of in-vehicle information systems (IVIS) usage on eye blinks in a simulated Lane Change Test (LCT), a simple driving task specifically designed by the International Organization for Standardization. Fifteen participants performed the LCT in a driving simulator in both single- and dual-task conditions, the latter manipulated by introducing an IVIS task in the car cockpit. Results suggest that blink duration (BD), with respect to blink rate (BR), is a more sensitive and reliable indicator of driver visual workload. Besides considering mean BD values, a detailed analysis revealed that the distribution of BD follows a Gaussian-like curve in normal driving conditions: three duration classes (short, medium, long) were extracted from such distribution, and changes happening to each class were analyzed within the dual-task conditions. Short and long blinks reflect, respectively, the effects of visual workload and time on task: more short blinks occur with an IVIS interaction during driving, while more long blinks arise as time spent driving increases. These results may have practical implications for system design in automotive.

31 JAN 2010

Psychophysiological Signals Associated with Affective States

Authors: M Mauri, V Magagnin, P Cipresso, L Mainardi, E N Brown, S Cerutti, M Villamira, R Barbieri

Journal: 32 Conference Proceedings of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

The study of emotions elicited by human-computer interactions is a promising field that could lead to the identification of specific patterns of affective states. We present a heart rate variability (HRV) assessment of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) response and respiratory sinus arrhythmia during PC-mediated stimuli by means of standard and multivariate autoregressive spectral methods. 35 healthy volunteers were exposed to computer-mediated tasks during data collection. The stimuli were designed to elicit: relaxation (R), engagement (E) and stress (S); half of the subjects were exposed to E before S (RES) while the other to S before E (RSE). HRV measures clearly separate the ANS response among R, S and E. Less significant differences are found between E and S in RSE, suggesting that S stimuli may cause a lasting response affecting the E period. Results from the bivariate analysis indicate a disruption of the cardio-respiratory coupling during non-relax conditions.

31 JAN 2010

Heart Rate Variability and Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia Assessment of Affective States by Bivariate Autoregressive Spectral Analysis

Authors: V Magagnin, M Mauri, P Cipresso, L Mainardi, E N Brown, S Cerutti, M Villamira, R Barbieri

Journal: Computing in Cardiology

The study of emotions elicited by human-computer interactions is a promising field that could lead to the identification of specific patterns of affective states. We present a heart rate variability (HRV) assessment of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) response and respiratory sinus arrhythmia during PC-mediated stimuli by means of standard and multivariate autoregressive spectral methods. 35 healthy volunteers were exposed to computer-mediated tasks during data collection. The stimuli were designed to elicit: relaxation (R), engagement (E) and stress (S); half of the subjects were exposed to E before S (RES) while the other to S before E (RSE). HRV measures clearly separate the ANS response among R, S and E. Less significant differences are found between E and S in RSE, suggesting that S stimuli may cause a lasting response affecting the E period. Results from the bivariate analysis indicate a disruption of the cardio-respiratory coupling during non-relax conditions.

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