Towards a Multimodal Measure for Physiological Behaviours to Estimate Cognitive Load

Muneeb Imtiaz Ahmad, David A. Robb, Ingo Keller, Katrin Lohan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


We present an experiment investigating the relationships between different physiological measures, including Mean Pupil Diameter Change, Blinking-Rate, Heart-Rate, and Heart-Rate Variability to inform the development of a measure to estimate Cognitive Load. Our experiment involved participants performing a task to spot correct or incorrect words and sentences which successfully induced Cognitive Load. Our results show that participants’ task performance predicts their subjective rating of Cognitive Load and that there was a decrease in participants’ performance with an increase in Cognitive Load. Furthermore, Mean Pupil Diameter Change was able to predict Blinking-Rate, and Heart-Rate was able to predict Heart-Rate Variability. This prediction is evidence that collecting data on physiological behaviours synchronously and analysing the trends can be an effective way of estimating Cognitive Load, and will help the future development of an online measure of Cognitive Load useful for responsive user interfaces.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEngineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics. Mental Workload, Human Physiology, and Human Energy. HCII 2020
EditorsDon Harris, Wen-Chin Li
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783030490447
ISBN (Print)9783030490430
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2020
Event22nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction 2020 - AC Bella Sky Hotel and Bella Center, Copenhagen, Denmark, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 19 Jul 202024 Jul 2020
Conference number: 22

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference22nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction 2020
Internet address


  • Cognitive load
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Mental load
  • Pupillometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • General Computer Science


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