Metrics for quantifying cognitive factors that may underlie individual variation in exoskeleton use
October 4, 2021
Proc. of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, Vol. 65, No. 1, 2021, pp. 216-20.
Individual differences in adaptation to exoskeletons have been observed, but are not well understood. Kinematic, kinetic, and physiologic factors are commonly used to assess these systems. Parameters from experimental psychology and gait literature wereadapted to probe the lower extremity perception-cognition-action loop using measures of reaction times, gait task performance, and gait strategy. Parameters were measured in 15 subjects via two tasks: (1) a modified Simon task and (2) a speed-achievement task with secondary go/no-go cues on a self-paced treadmill. Outcome metrics were assessed for significantly different intra- versus inter-subject variability. Reaction time measures from the modified Simon task, as well two speed-achievement metrics and one gait-strategy characteristic were found to show significant differences in intra- versus inter-subject variability. These results suggest that select cognitive factors may differentiate between individuals and be potential predictors for individual variation during exoskeleton system operation.