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Open AccessArticle

Examining Mental Workload in a Spatial Navigation Transfer Game via Functional near Infrared Spectroscopy

1
Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education, The University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
2
School of Education, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
3
College of Science and Engineering, American University of Armenia, Yerevan 0019, Armenia
4
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(1), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010045
Received: 26 November 2020 / Revised: 24 December 2020 / Accepted: 29 December 2020 / Published: 4 January 2021
The goal of this study was to examine the effects of task-related variables, such as the difficulty level, problem scenario, and experiment week, on performance and mental workload of 27 healthy adult subjects during problem solving within the spatial navigation transfer (SNT) game. The study reports task performance measures such as total time spent on a task (TT) and reaction time (RT); neurophysiological measures involving the use of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS); and a subjective rating scale for self-assessment of mental workload (NASA TLX) to test the related hypothesis. Several within-subject repeated-measures factorial ANOVA models were developed to test the main hypothesis. The results revealed a number of interaction effects for the dependent measures of TT, RT, fNIRS, and NASA TLX. The results showed (1) a decrease in TT and RT across the three levels of difficulty from Week 1 to Week 2; (2) an increase in TT and RT for high and medium cognitive load tasks as compared to low cognitive load tasks in both Week 1 and Week 2; (3) an overall increase in oxygenation from Week 1 to Week 2. These findings confirmed that both the behavioral performance and mental workload were sensitive to task manipulations. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental workload; cognitive load; problem solving; spatial navigation game; functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) mental workload; cognitive load; problem solving; spatial navigation game; functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Galoyan, T.; Betts, K.; Abramian, H.; Reddy, P.; Izzetoglu, K.; Shewokis, P.A. Examining Mental Workload in a Spatial Navigation Transfer Game via Functional near Infrared Spectroscopy. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 45. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010045

AMA Style

Galoyan T, Betts K, Abramian H, Reddy P, Izzetoglu K, Shewokis PA. Examining Mental Workload in a Spatial Navigation Transfer Game via Functional near Infrared Spectroscopy. Brain Sciences. 2021; 11(1):45. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010045

Chicago/Turabian Style

Galoyan, Tamara; Betts, Kristen; Abramian, Hovag; Reddy, Pratusha; Izzetoglu, Kurtulus; Shewokis, Patricia A. 2021. "Examining Mental Workload in a Spatial Navigation Transfer Game via Functional near Infrared Spectroscopy" Brain Sci. 11, no. 1: 45. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci11010045

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