Effects of auditory cues for linear and differential magnification methods on visual inspection performance

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)453-468
Journal / PublicationHuman Factors and Ergonomics In Manufacturing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


The unfavorable consequence of biased attention to peripheral objects was reported with the use of a newly proposed differential magnification method by the authors. Given the favorable influence of auditory cueing on attention orientation, this study investigated the effectiveness of auditory cues in directing participants' attention from the peripheral to foveal areas of the differential magnifying lens for improving inspection performance. Thirty-nine Chinese undergraduates performed a simulated inspection task using a particular magnification method (between-participant factor). Three within-participant factors of auditory cue interval, target difficulty, and magnification power were tested. Objective performance measures of speed and accuracy and subjective evaluation using NASA task load index were collected and analyzed. The results showed that positive effects of auditory cues were found for the differential magnification methods but not for the traditional linear magnification method. Significant effects of target difficulty and magnification power were also found. It was concluded that the aid of auditory cues, which did not share the same attentional resource with the visual inspection task, proved to be an appropriate reminder for the differential magnification methods to improve participants' visual inspection performance. Attention should also be paid to selecting an appropriate auditory cue interval for search tasks of different target difficulties. The findings of this study have implications for the design of video magnifiers in the context of multimodal human-machine interfaces.

Research Area(s)

  • Cueing effect, Differential magnification, Magnification interface design, Target difficulty