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Simulator based human performance assessment in a ship engine room using functional near-infrared spectroscopy

Symes, S (2022) Simulator based human performance assessment in a ship engine room using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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80% of accidents that occur in the maritime sector are due to human error. These errors could be the result of seafarer training coupled with a high mental workload due to the addition of various working conditions.
The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of various stressors on human performance on engine room operations. To achieve this aim, a simulator study was conducted to investigate the influence of training and working conditions on human performance for the purposes of fault detection and correction in a maritime engine room.
20 participants were recruited for each investigation of performance shaping factors (PSF); for the first test, half received practical training with the engine room software interface, while the other half were provided with paper-based instructions. The remaining tests were conducted with all participants equally practically trained. The participants interacted with a TRANSAS technological simulator series 5000. This is a 1:1 simulation of a ship engine room. The participants took part in a 30-minute scenario where they had to detect and correct a fault with the ballasting system. During this interaction, half of the participants experienced simulated, adverse performance shaping factors, which were distraction, fatigue and an increased workload. The other half were given a standard task.
Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) was utilised to measure neurophysiological activation from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC).
The results indicated increased activation of lateral regions of the DLPFC during fault correction, this trend was enhanced due to PSF’s and training, i.e. participants who received paper-based instructions showed greater activation when conducting the standard task and had an exponential increase in activation when dealing with the addition of an adverse PSF. The results are discussed with respect to the neural efficiency of the operator during high mental workload. From the results of this study a scientific human error model was developed and can be used by the maritime industry to better evaluate and understand human error causation and the effect of PSF on seafarers.
The impact of this study could reduce the frequency of occurrence of human error, reduce the financial impact that human error has on the maritime sector and reduce injuries and fatalities.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: fNIRS; Human Performance; HRA; Human Factors; Neuroscience; Neuroergonomics; Ship Simulator
Subjects: T Technology > T Technology (General)
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
V Naval Science > VM Naval architecture. Shipbuilding. Marine engineering
Divisions: Engineering
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 31 May 2022 15:24
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2022 12:54
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00016965
Supervisors: Yang, Z, Fairclough, S, Wang, J and Blanco Davis, E
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16965
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