EEG-Based Cognitive Control Behaviour Assessment: An Ecological study with Professional Air Traffic Controllers

Gianluca Borghini, Pietro Aricò, Gianluca DI Flumeri, Giulia Cartocci, Alfredo Colosimo, Stefano Bonelli, Alessia Golfetti, Jean Paul Imbert, Géraud Granger, Railane Benhacene, Simone Pozzi, Fabio Babiloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several models defining different types of cognitive human behaviour are available. For this work, we have selected the Skill, Rule and Knowledge (SRK) model proposed by Rasmussen in 1983. This model is currently broadly used in safety critical domains, such as the aviation. Nowadays, there are no tools able to assess at which level of cognitive control the operator is dealing with the considered task, that is if he/she is performing the task as an automated routine (skill level), as procedures-based activity (rule level), or as a problem-solving process (knowledge level). Several studies tried to model the SRK behaviours from a Human Factor perspective. Despite such studies, there are no evidences in which such behaviours have been evaluated from a neurophysiological point of view, for example, by considering brain activity variations across the different SRK levels. Therefore, the proposed study aimed to investigate the use of neurophysiological signals to assess the cognitive control behaviours accordingly to the SRK taxonomy. The results of the study, performed on 37 professional Air Traffic Controllers, demonstrated that specific brain features could characterize and discriminate the different SRK levels, therefore enabling an objective assessment of the degree of cognitive control behaviours in realistic settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number547
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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