Towards a Translational Method for Studying the Influence of Motivational and Affective Variables on Performance During Human-Computer Interactions
A primary goal in operational neuroscience is to create translational pathways linking laboratory observations with real-world applications. Achieving this requires a method that enables study of variability in operator performance that does not typically emerge under controlled laboratory circumstances; the present paper describes the development of such a paradigm. An essential aspect of the design process involved eliciting subject engagement without using extrinsic incentive (e.g. money) as a motivating stressor and, instead, tapping an appropriate intrinsic incentive (i.e. competitive stress). Two sources of competition were initially considered including one based on self-competition and another based on competition with another individual; ultimately, the latter approach was selected. A virtual competitor was designed to affect individual valuation of momentary successes and failures in specific ways and preliminary results revealed early indicators of success in meeting this goal. Discussion focuses on implications and challenges for future research using similar translational paradigms.
KeywordsCompetitive stress Affect Motivation Translational science
The authors would like to our colleagues in the Translational Neuroscience Branch of the Army Research Laboratory for their help in designing and vetting this research project. This research was sponsored by the Army Research Laboratory and was accomplished under Cognition and Neuroergonomics Collaborative Technology Alliances (CaN CTA; Cooperative Agreement #W911NF-10-2-0022). The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Laboratory or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation herein.
- 1.Committee on Military and Intelligence Methodology for Emergent Neurophysiological and Cognitive/Neural Research in the Next Two Decades, N. R. C.: Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC (2008)Google Scholar
- 2.Committee on Opportunities in Neuroscience for Future Army Applications, N. R. C.: Opportunities in Neuroscience for Future Army Applications. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC (2009)Google Scholar
- 4.Kerick, S.E., McDowell, K.: Understanding brain, cognition, and behavior in complex dynamic environments. In: Schmorrow, D.D., Estabrooke, I.V., Grootjen, M. (eds.) FAC 2009. LNCS, vol. 5638, pp. 35–41. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)Google Scholar
- 5.Kerick, S., Metcalfe, J., Feng, T., Ries, A., McDowell, K.: Review of fatigue management technologies for enhanced military vehicle safety and performance. Technical report #ARL-TR-6571. US Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (2013)Google Scholar
- 8.U.S Department of Defense Office of the Secretary of Defense. Code of federal regulations, protection of human subjects. 32 CFR 219. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (1999)Google Scholar
- 9.U.S. Department of the Army. Use of volunteers as subjects of research. AR 70-25. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC (1990)Google Scholar