Accession Number : ADA188205

Title :   Electromagnetic Metrics of Mental Workload.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. 15 Aug 85-14 Aug 86,

Corporate Author : PURDUE UNIV LAFAYETTE IN EEG SIGNAL PROCESSING LAB

Personal Author(s) : Aunon, J I ; Kantowitz, B H ; McGillem, C D ; Plonski, M P

PDF Url : ADA188205

Report Date : Sep 1987

Pagination or Media Count : 223

Abstract : Mental workload has been very difficult to describe quantitatively. An excessive workload can lead to a decrease in accuracy and performance, while a sustained high level of workload can lead to mental exhaustion. Previous research has indicated that heart rate variability and evoked potentials in the EEG (electroencephalogram) may be linked to mental workload. Unfortunately most of the work to date has examined these two biocybernetic variables independently rather than jointly. Recent advances now allow one to measure the magnetic fields produced by the brain (MEG) using a SQUID magnetometer (Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices). Much of the MEG research to date has concentrated on lower order brain processes rather than the higher cognitive processes associated with workload. The current research examines all these biocybernetic variables jointly in an effort to quantify mental workload. A paradigm was developed to vary several aspects of mental workload and verify the hybrid capacity model of human information processing that was developed at Purdue. This research included constructing a data acquisition system to implement this paradigm and simultaneously record heart rate, respiration, EEG & MEG data. It is believed that this is the first time that such a varied data set was recorded simultaneously.

Descriptors :   *CYBERNETICS, *INFORMATION PROCESSING, *MENTAL ABILITY, *WORKLOAD, *STRESS(PSYCHOLOGY), ACCURACY, BRAIN, COGNITION, DATA ACQUISITION, ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY, FATIGUE(PHYSIOLOGY), HEART RATE, HUMANS, HYBRID SYSTEMS, INTERFERENCE, LINKAGES, MAGNETIC FIELDS, MAGNETOMETERS, MODELS, QUANTUM THEORY, RESPIRATION, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY, VARIABLES, VARIATIONS, PERFORMANCE(HUMAN)

Subject Categories : Psychology
      Stress Physiology
      Cybernetics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE