Spatial S-R compatibility of visual and auditory signals : Implications for human-machine interface design

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-119
Journal / PublicationDisplays
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


This study investigated spatial stimulus-response (S-R) compatibility for visual and auditory signals presented on longitudinally and transversely oriented axes. The objective was to establish data in order to make ergonomics recommendations for multi-sensory interface design in control consoles. The results showed strong stimulus-response compatibility effects. Relatively faster reaction times (RTs) and lower error percentages (EPs) were found for the compatible S-R conditions than for the incompatible conditions. Other than the main S-R compatibility effect, a stimulus-hand (S-H) compatibility effect was also found when there was no clear stimulus-response compatibility. Responses made to visual signals were faster than those to auditory signal, suggesting that the processing of visual signals dominated processing of auditory ones. Response speed increased and accuracy decreased with the adoption of crossed hand posture. Response speed decreased with the length of the warning time interval. The findings in this experiment were translated into practical ergonomics recommendations for signal-response layout, stimulus-hand layout, hand condition, warning time interval, and methods of presenting visual and auditory signals. These recommendations were made with a view to improving control console design in order to enhance operator and overall system performance. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Research Area(s)

  • Control and display, Human factors, Spatial stimulus-response (S-R) compatibility, Visual and auditory signals, Warning time