Jason Ralph, Grad Student Presentation

Jason Ralph, Grad Student Presentation


Analyzing The Effects of Instrumental and Cognitive Workload on the Control of Cognition at the Time Scale of Interactive Behavior


I report a series of experiments designed to test the relative impacts that instrumental workload (eye movements), cognitive workload (memory, attention), and modality (visual, auditory) have on dual task performance.  Experiments were conducted using the NavBack paradigm, which combines a visual tracking task with an N-back style memory task.  Results suggest that eye movement behavior, and not an overload of visual processing cause most of the effects discovered. In addition, memory load seems to affect the brain's ability to exert endogenous control over eye movements, resulting in hard to predict performance effects.  These results are analyzed in terms of the control of cognition at the timescale of interactive behavior and suggest that understanding these control functions may be the key to understanding how workload effects performance in a variety of tasks.