Cognitive workload modulation through degraded visual stimuli: A single-trial EEG study

K. Yu, I. Prasad, H. Mir, N. Thakor, H. Al-Nashash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective. Our experiments explored the effect of visual stimuli degradation on cognitive workload. Approach. We investigated the subjective assessment, event-related potentials (ERPs) as well as electroencephalogram (EEG) as measures of cognitive workload. Main results. These experiments confirm that degradation of visual stimuli increases cognitive workload as assessed by subjective NASA task load index and confirmed by the observed P300 amplitude attenuation. Furthermore, the single-trial multi-level classification using features extracted from ERPs and EEG is found to be promising. Specifically, the adopted single-trial oscillatory EEG/ERP detection method achieved an average accuracy of 85% for discriminating 4 workload levels. Additionally, we found from the spatial patterns obtained from EEG signals that the frontal parts carry information that can be used for differentiating workload levels. Significance. Our results show that visual stimuli can modulate cognitive workload, and the modulation can be measured by the single trial EEG/ERP detection method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number046020
JournalJournal of neural engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


  • single trial
  • work load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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