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Benefits of Instructed Responding in Manual Assembly Tasks: An ERP Approach.

Mijović P, Ković V, De Vos M, Mačužić I, Jeremić B, Gligorijević I - Front Hum Neurosci (2016)

Bottom Line: Participants were presented with two distinct tasks during the simulated operation, which were counterbalanced across participants.In the second task, participants were presented with arrows, which served as instructed operation initiators (Arrows task), and they were instructed to start each operation with the hand that corresponded to the arrow direction.This, together with the other findings of this study, suggests that attention levels can be increased using instructed responses without compromising work performance or operators' well-being, paving the way for future applications in manual assembly task design.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department for Production Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Kragujevac Kragujevac, Serbia.

ABSTRACT
The majority of neuroergonomics studies are focused mainly on investigating the interaction between operators and automated systems. Far less attention has been dedicated to the investigation of brain processes in more traditional workplaces, such as manual assembly, which are still ubiquitous in industry. The present study investigates whether assembly workers' attention can be enhanced if they are instructed with which hand to initiate the assembly operation, as opposed to the case when they can commence the operation with whichever hand they prefer. For this aim, we replicated a specific workplace, where 17 participants in the study simulated a manual assembly operation of the rubber hoses that are used in vehicle hydraulic brake systems, while wearing wireless electroencephalography (EEG). The specific EEG feature of interest for this study was the P300 components' amplitude of the event-related potential (ERP), as it has previously been shown that it is positively related to human attention. The behavioral attention-related modality of reaction times (RTs) was also recorded. Participants were presented with two distinct tasks during the simulated operation, which were counterbalanced across participants. In the first task, digits were used as indicators for the operation initiation (Numbers task), where participants could freely choose with which hand they would commence the action upon seeing the digit. In the second task, participants were presented with arrows, which served as instructed operation initiators (Arrows task), and they were instructed to start each operation with the hand that corresponded to the arrow direction. The results of this study showed that the P300 amplitude was significantly higher in the instructed condition. Interestingly, the RTs did not differ across any task conditions. This, together with the other findings of this study, suggests that attention levels can be increased using instructed responses without compromising work performance or operators' well-being, paving the way for future applications in manual assembly task design.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Left image—Real workplace (replicated from our industrial partner); Right image—Replicated workplace.
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Figure 1: Left image—Real workplace (replicated from our industrial partner); Right image—Replicated workplace.

Mentions: As we stated in the introduction, reliable EEG recording still relies on wet electrodes, limiting on-site industrial EEG recording. For that reason, we simulated the production process of the rubber hoses, which are used in hydraulic brake systems in the automotive industry, in a faithfully replicated workplace (Figure 1). Full-scale replica of the specific workplace was created at the laboratory of University of Kragujevac, in consultation with the car sub-component manufacturing company. In order to create a naturalistic environment, all major elements from the real factory settings have been included while preserving respective spatial ratios and replicating ambient conditions.


Benefits of Instructed Responding in Manual Assembly Tasks: An ERP Approach.

Mijović P, Ković V, De Vos M, Mačužić I, Jeremić B, Gligorijević I - Front Hum Neurosci (2016)

Left image—Real workplace (replicated from our industrial partner); Right image—Replicated workplace.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4837689&req=5

Figure 1: Left image—Real workplace (replicated from our industrial partner); Right image—Replicated workplace.
Mentions: As we stated in the introduction, reliable EEG recording still relies on wet electrodes, limiting on-site industrial EEG recording. For that reason, we simulated the production process of the rubber hoses, which are used in hydraulic brake systems in the automotive industry, in a faithfully replicated workplace (Figure 1). Full-scale replica of the specific workplace was created at the laboratory of University of Kragujevac, in consultation with the car sub-component manufacturing company. In order to create a naturalistic environment, all major elements from the real factory settings have been included while preserving respective spatial ratios and replicating ambient conditions.

Bottom Line: Participants were presented with two distinct tasks during the simulated operation, which were counterbalanced across participants.In the second task, participants were presented with arrows, which served as instructed operation initiators (Arrows task), and they were instructed to start each operation with the hand that corresponded to the arrow direction.This, together with the other findings of this study, suggests that attention levels can be increased using instructed responses without compromising work performance or operators' well-being, paving the way for future applications in manual assembly task design.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department for Production Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Kragujevac Kragujevac, Serbia.

ABSTRACT
The majority of neuroergonomics studies are focused mainly on investigating the interaction between operators and automated systems. Far less attention has been dedicated to the investigation of brain processes in more traditional workplaces, such as manual assembly, which are still ubiquitous in industry. The present study investigates whether assembly workers' attention can be enhanced if they are instructed with which hand to initiate the assembly operation, as opposed to the case when they can commence the operation with whichever hand they prefer. For this aim, we replicated a specific workplace, where 17 participants in the study simulated a manual assembly operation of the rubber hoses that are used in vehicle hydraulic brake systems, while wearing wireless electroencephalography (EEG). The specific EEG feature of interest for this study was the P300 components' amplitude of the event-related potential (ERP), as it has previously been shown that it is positively related to human attention. The behavioral attention-related modality of reaction times (RTs) was also recorded. Participants were presented with two distinct tasks during the simulated operation, which were counterbalanced across participants. In the first task, digits were used as indicators for the operation initiation (Numbers task), where participants could freely choose with which hand they would commence the action upon seeing the digit. In the second task, participants were presented with arrows, which served as instructed operation initiators (Arrows task), and they were instructed to start each operation with the hand that corresponded to the arrow direction. The results of this study showed that the P300 amplitude was significantly higher in the instructed condition. Interestingly, the RTs did not differ across any task conditions. This, together with the other findings of this study, suggests that attention levels can be increased using instructed responses without compromising work performance or operators' well-being, paving the way for future applications in manual assembly task design.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus