Alarms are used throughout the industrial world (medicine, transport, aviation, nuclear power) but the science underpinning both the design of alarms and their efficacy still requires considerable development. Triggering an alarm is intended to provoke a behavioural change (eg. vacating a building on fire, or attending a patient because some physiological parameter has exceeded an acceptable level). The sequence from alarm design to the intended action is currently poorly understood, but is underpinned by complex and interrelated psychological and neurological functions concerning both the designer and the responder.
This project will use a variety of experimental and other techniques, to develop an understanding of both the design and interpretation of auditory alarms at a cognitive and neuropsychological level and to extend the scientific understanding of the process of alarm design and response from start to finish, thereby producing valuable innovations in this process.
Technical University of Delft (9 months: Explore sound design options with experts in sound design and their industrial connections)
Judy Edworthy,Roman Borisyuk, Sue Denham, Chris Harris (Plymouth University), Elif Özcan (Technical University of Delft).
Edworthy, J, Hellier, E., Titchener, K, Naweed, A. & Roels, R (2011) Heterogeneity in alarm sets makes them easier to learn International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 41, 136-146 Edworthy, J (2012) Medical audible alarms: a review. J Am Med Inform Assoc ;0:1–6. doi:10.1136/amiajnl-2012-001061