A comparison of semantic and spatial stimulus-response compatibility effects for human-machine interface design

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-643
Journal / PublicationEuropean Journal of Industrial Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


The effects of semantic and spatial stimulus-response (S-R) compatibility were examined and compared with the use of an auditory choice reaction task paradigm in this experiment. Twenty-two participants responded to speech and non-speech signals presented at the left and right ears and were asked to respond to different conditions of congruence and incongruence of semantic and location codes of signals and responses. The results showed that participants processed the non-speech signals faster than the speech signals. The presence of both semantic and spatial compatibility for signals and responses was found to improve reaction time and response accuracy. Compared with spatial compatibility, the effect of semantic compatibility influences human performance more. Based on the results, practical ergonomics recommendations for enhanced human-machine interfaces were formulated which help industrial designers to improve overall system performance in machinery and equipment design. Copyright © 2012 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Auditory display, Human machine interface design, Semantic compatibility, Spatial compatibility