An evaluation of mental workload for effective navigation

Koji Murai (Kobe University, Fukaeminami, Higashinada, Kobe, Japan)
Yuji Hayashi (Kobe University, Fukaeminami, Higashinada, Kobe, Japan)

Interactive Technology and Smart Education

ISSN: 1741-5659

Publication date: 1 February 2008



This paper aims to propose that the nasal temperature is an effective index to evaluate the mental workload of a navigator for effective navigation.


The evaluation comes from the actual on‐board experiment, not simulation. The subject is real bridge teammates; captain, duty officer, and quarter master. The mental workload is evaluated for a lot of navigational situations.


The nasal temperature responds when the navigator makes a decision regarding ship‐handling and collision avoidance, and shows well the whole trend of his decision‐making. Then the nasal temperature takes effect to evaluate the bridge team work among captain, duty officer and quarter master.

Research limitations/implications

Future research is to make cross‐indices with the nasal temperature and the heart rate variability (R‐R interval) complementary to each other where the nasal temperature registers the trend and the R‐R interval registers the quick response of the mental workload.

Practical implications

The paper describes the effective index which is useful to evaluate bridge teammates’ mental workload for effective navigation.


Navigator's skill has been evaluated according to behavior (performance) and a questionnaire as a quantitative evaluation; moreover, the mental workload tries to do it using nasal temperature and heart rate variability.



Murai, K. and Hayashi, Y. (2008), "An evaluation of mental workload for effective navigation", Interactive Technology and Smart Education, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 29-38.

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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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