Cognitive Workload

Cognitive Workload Measurement

EyeTracking’s patented Index of Cognitive Activity measures Cognitive Workload objectively and unobtrusively in real-time. This metric has been validated in peer-reviewed research in a number of different fields. It is available through the EyeWorks Cognitive Workload Module or our Workload RT™ stand-alone product. The background and applications of this metric are discussed below.

The Science

The pupil is surrounded by two sets of muscles, a circular set and a radial set. The circular muscles react to the presence or absence of light; the radial muscles react when a person exerts mental effort. The Index of Cognitive Activity (ICA) measures pupil changes resulting from mental effort (radial muscles) while factoring out the light reflex (circular muscles). This patented metric is the culmination of three decades of research into cognition and assessment. It was developed under DoD support through projects with the Office of Naval Research.

Interested in learning more about the science behind cognitive workload and out technology? Learn more

The Applications

The ICA has been used by researchers all over the world to meet a range of different objectives in a variety of different contexts.
Measure

Measure

Measure the level of difficulty experienced completing a task

Diagnose

Diagnose

Diagnose specific features of a task that are associated with high workload

Indentify

Identify

Identify opportunities to improve ease of system operation

Compare

Compare

Compare workload across multiple iterations of an interface

Optimise

Optimize

Optimize training materials based on a quantifiable measure of difficulty

Demonstrate

Demonstrate

Demonstrate workload differences between user groups

The ICA has been an integral part of some of the most important cognitive workload research of the past decade. The focus of these studies has included:
Automobile Drivers

Automobile Drivers

U.S. Naval Officers

U.S. Naval Officers

Neurological Research

Neurological Research

FAA Air Traffic Controllers

FAA Air Traffic Controllers

Aviation Training

Aviation Training

Laparoscopic Surgeons

Laparoscopic Surgeons

TSA Baggage

TSA Baggage Screeners

Case Study: Northrop Grumman

Case Study: Northrop Grumman

NASA Trainees

NASA Trainees

Software Options

EyeTracking’s cognitive workload assessment metric is available in two formats:

The Cognitive Workload Module

The Cognitive Workload Module integrates ICA-based workload assessment seamlessly into EyeWorks eye tracking software. Workload data may be rendered during data collection, synched to eye data, visualized for analysis, exported as CSV and examined statistically using the EyeWorks ‘Reports’ tool.

Workload RT

Workload RT is a simple stand-alone product for researchers and developers who wish to use ICA-based cognitive workload assessment without EyeWorks. Using Workload RT, workload data may be rendered in real time, saved to text file or integrated directly into an external application. Workload RT is an ideal solution for OEM developers or third party developers looking to enhance their own software with our world leading workload measurement technology.

Related Publications

Here follows a non-exhaustive list of publications related to the Index of Cognitive Activity. Please contact us if you wish to have additional publications added to this list.

2019

Using objective robotic automated performance metrics and task-evoked pupillary response to distinguish surgeon expertise

Nguyen, J., Chen, J., Marshall, S. P., Ghodoussipour, S., Chen, A., Gill, I. S., and Hung, A. J. 

World Journal of Urology. DOI: 10.1007/s00345-019-02881-w

2019

Evaluation of the Index of Cognitive Activity (ICA) as an Instrument to Measure Cognitive Workload Under Differing Light Conditions

Rerhaye L., Blaser T., Alexander T. 

In: Bagnara S., Tartaglia R., Albolino S., Alexander T., Fujita Y. (eds) Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018). IEA 2018. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 827. Springer, Cham DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-96059-3_38 

2018

Pupillary Response to Cognitive Demand in Parkinson’s Disease: A Pilot Study

Kahya, M., Moon, S., Lyons, K. E., Pahwa, R., Akinwuntan, A. E., & Devos, H. 

Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 10, 90. DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00090

2018

Increased Postural Demand Is Associated With Greater Cognitive Workload in Healthy Young Adults: A Pupillometry Study

Kahya M, Wood TA, Sosnoff JJ, Devos H.  

Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12, 288. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00288

2018

Pupillary response: cognitive effort for breast cancer survivors

Myers, J. S., Kahya, M., Mitchell, M., Dai, J., He, J., Moon, S., … Devos, H.

Supportive Care in Cancer. DOI: 10.1007/s00520-018-4401-0

2017

Effect of Cognitive Demand on Functional Visual Field Performance in Senior Drivers with Glaucoma

Gangeddula, V., Ranchet, M., Akinwuntan, A. E., Bollinger, K., & Devos, H.

Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 9, 286. DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2017.00286

Integrate with your system

Contact an EyeTracking representative today to discuss your requirements, and get more information on how to integrate our solutions with your products, Q&A processes.