THE EFFECTS OF SPECTACLE SIDESHIELD TRANSMITTANCE AND HAZE ON PERIPHERAL DETECTION IN A DUAL-TASK PARADIGM

James Dykes

Abstract

PURPOSE. Protective spectacles are needed in many industrial, sports, and military applications. Attaching sideshields to the spectacle frame can protect both focal and peripheral vision, but opaque sideshields eliminate peripheral information critical for capturing central attention and situation awareness. Even transparent sideshields can compromise peripheral vision depending upon their haze, light transmission, and distortion. This research quantified changes in peripheral detection due to non-opaque sideshields. METHOD. Observers performed a manual central-vision tracking task. Simultaneously they detected changes in luminance, tilt, or visual flow presented on a peripheral monitor placed 80° to their right. After training, the observer performed the dual-tasks with a bare face (baseline) and with each of four curved sideshields: two prototypes and two molded samples selected to systematically vary haze and transmittance. Each observer also performed the dual-tasks with calibrated optical filters: four neutral density filters and four standard haze samples.

RESULTS. With sideshields, peripheral detection reaction times were significantly higher (p < 0.01) with high (> 10%) haze prototypes than with low (< 2%) haze samples. Reaction times were slightly higher for low (~45%) transmittance samples than with high (~92%) transmittance samples. With the optical filters, detection time was increased with the low luminance transmission filters (11% and 21%), but the decrements as a function of haze were lower with the optical filters than with sideshields.

CONCLUSIONS. A loss in visual peripheral information increases attentional workload and reduces situational awareness. Optical quality sideshields can provide eye protection while maintaining high peripheral detection performance if they have less than 2% haze and greater than 40% transmittance.

Details

Year: 2001

Program Number: Poster 136

Author Affiliation: AFRL (LOGICON / TASC)

Co-Authors: Elmar Schmeisser, Paul Garcia, Naiomi Cantu, Leon McLin, Carita DeVilbiss, Lawrence Harrington, Douglas Apsey

Co-Author Affiliation: University of Missouri-St. Louis

Room: Exhibit Hall C