Reference Frame Congruency in Search-and-Rescue Tasks

Congruence des cadres de référence dans les tâches de recherche et sauvetage


  1. Pavlovic, N.J.
  2. Keillor, J.K.
  3. Hollands, J.G.
  4. Chignell, M.K.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN)
Objective: The purpose of the study was to investigate how the congruency between visual displays and auditory cues affects performance on various spatial tasks. Background: Previous studies have demonstrated that spatial auditory cues can enhance performance and decrease workload when combined with visual displays. However, this facilitation was achieved only when auditory cues shared a common reference frame (RF) with the visual display. In complex and dynamic environments, such as airborne search-and-rescue (SAR), it is often difficult to ensure such congruency. Method: In a simulated SAR operation, participants performed three spatial tasks: target search, target localization and target recall. The interface consisted of the camera view of the terrain from the aircraft-mounted sensor, a map of the area flown over, a joystick that controlled the sensor, and a mouse. Auditory cues were used to indicate target location. While flying in the scenario, participants searched for targets, identified their locations in one of the two coordinate systems, and memorized their location relative to the terrain layout. Results: Congruent cues produced the fastest and most accurate performance. Performance advantages were observed even with incongruent relative to neutral cues, and egocentric cues were more effective than exocentric cues. Conclusion: Although the congruent cues are most effective, in cases where the same cue is used across spatial tasks, egocentric cues are a better choi

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reference frame, congruency, spatial auditory cues
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-SL-2008-063 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Apr 2009
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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