EEG-Based Onling Cognitive Load Monitor

Period of Performance: 05/01/1998 - 05/01/2000


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

SAM Technology, Inc.
San Francisco, CA 94108
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


The Phase II effort will be to build a non-invasive online meter of cognitive load suitable for use in operational environments. This meter will provide a practical means of measuring cognitive load is critical to a variety of Air Force missions. It will be used to detect overload or underload in the operators of complex systems, to determine whether one human-computer interface is easier to use than another, to identify difficult tasks that require further training, and to help select personnel based on individual differences in cognitive capacity. Our ongoing R&D program is focused on developing technologies required for noninvasively monitoring cognitive load. Of the many dimensions of mental work, our emphasis is on measuring brain electrical signals of sustained attention, mental effort and regional brain utilization. We have established that neural networks can be used to create weighted combinations of signals that classify cognitive load variations accurately and reliably in a laboratory task situation. We have also developed a prototype online system capable of continuous monitoring of variations in these signals, a prerequisite to use of brain signals for adaptive automation.