Evaluating the Effect of Reinforcement Haptics on Motor Learning and Cognitive Workload in Driver Training

Thomas G. Simpson, Karen Rafferty*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Haptic technologies have the capacity to enhance motor learning, potentially improving the safety and quality of operating performance in a variety of applications, yet there is limited research evaluating implementation of these devices in driver training environments. A driving simulator and training scenario were developed to assess the quality of motor learning produced with wrist-attached vibrotactile haptic motors for additional reinforcement feedback. User studies were conducted with 36 participants split into 2 groups based on feedback modality. Throughout the simulation vehicle interactions with the course were recorded, enabling comparisons of pre and post-training performance between the groups to evaluate short-term retention of the steering motor skill. Statistically significant differences were found between the two groups for vehicle position safety violations (U=78.50, P=0.008) where the visual-haptic group improved significantly more than the visual group. The Raw NASA-TLX (RTLX) was completed by participants to examine the cognitive effect of the additional modality, where the visual-haptic group reported greater levels of workload (U=90.50, P=0.039). In conclusion, reinforcement vibrotactile haptics can enhance short-term retention of motor learning with a positive effect on the safety and quality of post-training behaviour, which is likely a result of increased demand and stimulation encouraging the adaptation of sensorimotor transformations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Computer Graphics
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2020

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743


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