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Exploring the impact of external shading system on cognitive task performance, alertness and visual comfort in a daylit workplace environment
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The authors examined the effect of external shading system on cognitive performance, alertness and visual comfort of visual display terminal (VDT) users under two realistic office lighting settings in this study. Daylight was the source of illumination being considered as the most significant and preferred one. A total of 26 participants performed visual and cognitive demanding tasks as well as providing subjective alertness, performance and visual evaluations in a full-scale mock-up VDT workstation. Two trials (with and without shading system) were executed during one experimental session. Results revealed that the use of a shading system improves the performance of a user on colour-naming task requiring sustained attention, while no differential effects were observed on tasks involving other cognitive skills such as search velocity and vigilance. Within-subject performance differences were more pronounced during morning hours. Higher performance was reported in some cognitive tests when the subjective sensation of visual discomfort was lower.
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