Vol 8, No 2 (2017) > Industrial Engineering >

Eye Blink Rate as a Measure of Mental Workload in a Driving Task: Convergent or Divergent with Other Measures?

Ari Widyanti, Nisha Faradila Sofiani, Herman Rahadian Soetisna, Khoirul Muslim



Measuring mental workload requires both subjective
and objective measurement. However, as existing objective measures lack
applicability due to technical reasons and cost considerations, this study
evaluates an easy to use and cost effective method of measuring the sensitivity
of the eye blink rate as a potential objective measure of mental workload.
Eight participants were instructed to operate a driving simulator in a lab
setting and complete a series of driving tasks set at three different levels of
difficulty. The completion time and penalty scores were recorded as the
performance measures. The eye blink rate data were analyzed as an objective
measure, and the NASA Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) was used to assess the
participants’ mental workload at the end of each task as the subjective
measure. Although the completion time, penalties, and NASA-TLX increased as the
difficulty level of the tasks increased, the eye blink rate decreased. The
implications of these results are discussed.

Keywords: Blink rate; Driving simulation; Mental workload; NASA-TLX

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