Many measurement methods and tools exist for assessing the various human cognitive states that impact individual and team performance, such as cognitive workload, situation awareness, and team cognition. However, the missing piece in the measurement puzzle has always been in how to accurately measure these constructs in real-time during task completion without intruding on the operator’s time pre- or post-task or their efficiency, comfort, or performance during the task. A common measurement tool used to assess these human cognitive states in laboratory settings is the traditional Electroencephalography (EEG) device, which has been historically a highly obtrusive measurement technique that cannot be feasibly implemented into operational settings for real-time cognitive state measurement. Nevertheless, with recent technological advancements in EEG technology and developments of various wireless EEG headbands, multiple new options exist that may create new possibilities for unobtrusive, real-time cognitive state measurement in operational settings. This research aims to evaluate the feasibility and validity of one of these EEG headband devices as an unobtrusive, real-time measurement tool capable of implementation in contexts such as spaceflight, military operations, and aviation. This research involved two studies that assessed the measurement capabilities of the EEG headband device as well as user perceptions of comfort of the device and data output presentation for real-time analysis. Results indicate that although more advancement is needed in this technology, before it can be implemented in operational environments as an unobtrusive, real-time measurement tool, there is promise for the future of EEG headband technology as more advancements in wireless EEG technology are made. Moreover, as this technology continues to advance, research on implementation of this technology as a cognitive state measurement tool must also continue.
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Unobtrusive Real-Time Cognitive State Measurement for Human Performance Assessment in the Field