Directional stimulus-response compatibility: a test of three alternative principles

Worringham, Charles J. & Beringer, Dennis B. (1998) Directional stimulus-response compatibility: a test of three alternative principles. Ergonomics, 41(6), pp. 864-880.

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The basis of directional stimulus-response compatibility was studied using a task in which 128 participants moved a cursor into targets with a joystick, resembling the operation of certain industrial and construction equipment. Compatible and incompatible versions of three alternative compatibility principles were compared in all combinations. Visual Field (VF) compatibility was present if cursor and controlling limb movement were in the same direction in the visual field, Control Display (CD) compatibility meant that the control motion was in the same direction as, and parallel to, cursor motion, and Muscle Synergy (MS) compatibility was defined as use of the muscle synergy normally associated with the required direction as seen in the visual field. VF-compatible conditions had significantly shorter reaction, movement and homing times, and fewer reversal errors, for males and females, in two testing sites. These advantages were maintained over practice. VF compatibility was confirmed as a robust spatial compatibility principle that is affected by neither the orientation of the operator's limb or head, nor the muscle synergy used in executing the task. It offers not only more rapid performance, but also a markedly reduced rate of potentially dangerous directional errors. The relationship between this finding and theoretical aspects of stimulus-response compatibility is discussed.

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38 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 1051
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: compatibility, direction, stimulus, response, psychomotor performance, reaction time, error, machinery, ergonomics
DOI: 10.1080/001401398186694
ISSN: 1366-5847
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Sensory Processes Perception and Performance (170112)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (111705)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Motor Control (110603)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NEUROSCIENCES (110900) > Sensory Systems (110906)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1998 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in Ergonomics 41(6):pp. 864-880.
Deposited On: 07 Nov 2005 00:00
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2010 12:38

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