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Pilot Workload and Speech Analysis: A Preliminary Investigation

Prior research has questioned the effectiveness of speech analysis to measure a talker's stress, workload, truthfulness, or emotional state. However, the question remains regarding the utility of speech analysis for restricted vocabularies such as those used in aviation communications. A part-task experiment was conducted in which participants performed Air Traffic Control read-backs in different workload environments. Participant's subjective workload and the speech qualities of fundamental frequency (F0) and articulation rate were evaluated. A significant increase in subjective workload rating was found for high workload segments. F0 was found to be significantly higher during high workload while articulation rates were found to be significantly slower. No correlation was found to exist between subjective workload and F0 or articulation rate.

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