In the theatre of war, environmental and workload factors (e.g., noise, time pressure) may dramatically overburden operator's cognitive processes. Well designed multimedia technology can successfully minimize both intrinsic (working memory capacity) and extrinsic (inefficient use of information) sources of cognitive load, thereby facilitating the decision-making process. These positive mediating effects of multimedia technology can occur during three distinct phases of human information processing: 1) during sensorial information acquisition, by filtering out unnecessary environmental noise and transferring information via context-dependent modalities; 2) during decision-making, by making critical task-relevant cues more salient; and 3) following response execution, by providing necessary feedback to effectively evaluate the appropriateness of the decision taken. After analyzing the dramatic events that led to many US soldier casualties in a Somali rescue mission, this paper will propose a set of recommendations to help future task forces in urban environments, and to specify the greater goal of multimedia use on the battlefield.
Scielzo, Sandro and Greenwood-Ericksen, Adams
"Supporting Decision-Making in the Battlefield: Utility of Multimedia Information Transmission,"
Journal of Human Performance in Extreme Environments:
2, Article 8.