EEG-based classification of visual and auditory monitoring tasks

Bagheri, Mohammad (2021) EEG-based classification of visual and auditory monitoring tasks. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Using EEG signals for mental workload detection has received particular attention in passive BCI research aimed at increasing safety and performance in high-risk and safety-critical occupations, like pilots and air traffic controllers. Along with detecting the level of mental workload, it has been suggested that being able to automatically detect the type of mental workload (e.g., auditory, visual, motor, cognitive) would also be useful. In this work, a novel experimental protocol was developed in which subjects performed a task involving one of two different types of mental workload (specifically, auditory and visual), each under two different levels of task demand (easy and difficult). The tasks were designed to be nearly identical in terms of visual and auditory stimuli, and differed only in the type of stimuli the subject was monitoring/attending to. EEG power spectral features were extracted and used to train linear and non-linear classifiers. Preliminary results on six subjects suggested that the auditory and visual tasks could be distinguished from one another, and individually from a baseline condition (which also contained nearly identical stimuli that the subject did not need to attend to at all), with accuracy significantly exceeding chance. This was true when classification was done within a workload level, and when data from the two workload levels were combined. Preliminary results also showed that tasks with easy and difficult trials could be distinguished from one another, each within a sensory domain (auditory and visual) as well as with both domains combined. Though further investigation is required, these preliminary results are promising, and suggest the feasibility of a passive BCI for detecting both type and level of mental workload.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 15241
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 62-73).
Keywords: brain computer interface, electroencephalography
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: September 2021
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Electroencephalography; Brain-computer interfaces; air traffic controllers--Job stress; Air pilots--job stress.

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