Christopher D. Wickens

in The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Engineering

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199757183
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology


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This chapter describes attention in cognitive engineering and in design by metaphors of the filter, that selects incoming sensory information for perception, and the fuel that supports all stages of information processing with a limited supply of resources, and that therefore limits multi-tasking We describe applications of the filter to noticing events, alarm design, supervisory control and display layout, display integration, and visual search. We then consider two aspects of multi-task performance: when fuel is available to support concurrent processing, predicted by a multiple resource model, and when the task demands are sufficiently high, as to force sequential processing, and consideration of task and interruption management strategies. Finally, we consider the role of mental workload in automation and situation awareness. Where relevant, the chapter highlights the role of computational models.

Keywords: attention; multi-tasking; interruption management; multiple resources; time-sharing; display integration; visual scanning; alarms; visual search

Article.  16399 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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