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Vigilance, visual search and attention in an agricultural task

Hartley, L.R., Arnold, P.K., Kobryn, H.ORCID: 0000-0003-1004-7593 and MacLeod, C. (1989) Vigilance, visual search and attention in an agricultural task. Applied Ergonomics, 20 (1). pp. 9-16.

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In a fragile agricultural environment, such as Western Australia (WA), introduced exotic plant species present a serious environmental and economic threat. Skeleton weed, centaurea juncea, a Mediterranean daisy, was accidentally introduced into WA in 1963. It competes with cash crops such as wheat. When observed in the fields, farms are quarantined and mechanised teams search for the infestations in order to destroy them. Since the search process requires attention, visual search and vigilance, the present investigators conducted a number of controlled field trials to identify the importance of these factors in detection of the weed. The paper describes the basic hit rate, vigilance decrement, effect of search party size, effect of target size, and some data on the effect of solar illumination of the target. Several recommendations have been made and incorporated in the search programme and some laboratory studies undertaken to answer questions arising.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Copyright: © 1989 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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