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Technology can enhance or diminish a user's psycho-physiological stress level; the ability to quantify these responses can help evaluate and refine design. The capability of drivers to accomplish basic tasks utilizing differing sensory modalities while maintaining lane discipline within a computer-simulated environment was assessed. Fifteen healthy subjects provided capillary blood samples before and after using three human-machine interface designs-touch-screen, voice control, and multimodal. Using a chemiluminescent technique termed Leukocyte Coping Capacity, the ability of leukocytes to produce reactive oxygen species in vitro was assessed. Significant poststressor changes in leukocyte activity of varying magnitude were observed following the use of all interfaces; with the multimodal interface provoking the most pronounced response and voice control the least. Although still requiring further research, the results support the proposition for using immune responsiveness as a means for quantifying psychological stress during assessment of ergonomic design and psycho-physiological and social interaction. © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Original publication




Journal article


International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction

Publication Date





900 - 919