CLW 2016 announcement


We are excited to announce that CLW 2016 will be held at AutomotiveUI 2016 in Ann Arbor, MI. The half-day workshop will take place in the morning of October 24.

The workshop has three goals:

  1. Explain the theoretical underpinnings behind common eye tracking measures of cognitive load. The first goal of the workshop is to communicate the theoretical reasoning behind the use of eye tracking measures and practical considerations of how eye tracking should be conducted within the automotive setting. A strong focus will be on ensuring that participants understand how the changes seen in these measures correspond to differences in workload. The workshop will also then include discussion of practical aspects of using these measures in the automotive environment and how these can affect the outcome of the measure data.
  2. Demonstrate how eye tracking measures of workload are collected. The attendees of the workshop will gain an understanding about how to actually collect eye tracking measures of workload. The second goal of the workshop is to ensure participants receive a demonstration of how these measures are collected and some level of hands-on experience in the collection of measures. Again the focus here will be toward the practical considerations of using these measures within an automotive environment.
  3. Present techniques of how the data from these measures are reduced and analyzed. The last goal for the workshop in an effort to allow attendees to walk away with applicable knowledge is to ensure they understand how to filter the data that they will collect. To some extent, this will involve summarizing existing practice codified in standards or discussed in previous studies within the space for the participants. However, the workshop will go beyond what is in those documents, discussing practical problems of filtering and cleaning the data, rules for determining and eliminating outliers, and methods of quantifying lost data. The workshop will also discuss identifying potential confounding factors and situations that arise with the use of eye tracking data that can bias interpretations of results, as well as pointing attendees to software that can help produce results.

The organizers will bring together experts to address the above issues.

CLW 2015: announcing expert presenters

We are excited to announce the expert presenters for CLW 2015: Leon Kenemans and Bruce Mehler. Leon and Bruce will share knowledge with the community regarding the theoretical underpinnings, collection, and filtering of physiological data, focusing on heart rate, electrodermal activity (skin conductance, galvanic skin response, GSR, etc.) measures, and electroencephalography (EEG), as a measure of cognitive load within the scope of automotive research.

Leon Kenemans is professor of Biopsychology and Psychopharmacology at Utrecht University. His recent research activities include neurobiological mechanisms of inhibition and impulse control; dopaminergic, noradrenergic, and cholinergic mechanisms in selective attention and impulse control; the effects of cannabinoids on selective attention and working memory, and their application in anxiety disorders; and a neurobiological approach to susceptibility and distractibility during driving and driving-related tasks, including the effects of multi-tasking and state variables like alcohol. He wrote books on psychopharmacology and on cognitive neuroscience, topics on which he also teaches, in addition to biological foundations of behavior and methods of electroencephalography and other human-biological signals. From 2009-2014 he served as scientific director of the Dutch National Initiative on Brain and Cognition, aimed at excellent research and especially application of Dutch brain and cognition research. He collaborates with (representatives of) several companies including pharma, consumer-lifestyle technology, and ICT solutions for recording brain function and behavioral assessment. He was co-organizer of the most recent Society for Applied Neuroscience conference.

Bruce Mehler is a Research Scientist in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab and the New England University Transportation Center. He is also a senior consultant at NeuroDyne Medical Corporation where he served as Director of Applications & Development prior to assuming his current position at MIT. He has an extensive background in the development and application of non-invasive physiological monitoring technologies in medical, academic and applied research settings. Working with his colleagues in the AgeLab and the New England University Transportation Center, he is particularly interested in exploring methods of combining psychophysiological measures with other assessment techniques to develop a richer understanding of cognitive workload, stress, attention, and emotional arousal in applied settings.

CLW 2015 announcement

We are excited to announce that CLW 2015 will be held at AutomotiveUI 2015 in Nottingham, UK. The half-day workshop will take place in the morning of September 1.

The workshop has three goals:

    1. Explain the theoretical underpinnings of the physiology behind common physiological measures of cognitive load. In this workshop we will address electrodermal activity (EDA), measures related to heart rate, and electroencephalography (EEG). A strong focus will be on why these measures change with differences in workload and what this means within the applied setting of automotive research.
    2. Demonstrate how measures of physiological workload are collected. The workshop will include demonstrations of practical issues in data collection. Again the focus will be on practical considerations of using these measures within an automotive environment.
    3. Present techniques of how the data from these measures are reduced and analyzed. To some extent, data reduction and analysis will be discussed by summarizing existing practice codified in standards or described in previous studies. However, we will go beyond what is in those documents, discussing practical problems of filtering and cleaning up the data, censoring, rules for determining and eliminating outliers, and methods of quantifying lost data.

The organizers will bring together a number of experts to address the above issues.

CLW 2014 program available

We are excited to announce that the CLW 2014 program is now available.

This year’s workshop will open with a keynote from Chris Monk, who is the Division Chief of Human Factors at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Next, we will hear from Joanne Harbluk (Transport Canada), who will introduce a number of visual measures of cognitive load.

After a short break Linda Angell (Touchstone Evaluations Inc.) and Joel Cooper (Precision Driving Research) will introduce the Detection Response Task, and workshop co-organizer Paul Green will lead a hands-on experience we named “Get your hands DRT,” through which participants can gain first-hand experience with DRT. Finally, the workshop will include poster presentations of contributed papers.

Hands-on DRT

A portion of CLW 2014 will be devoted to the Detection Response Task (DRT), which is an ISO standard. In fact, we are planning to provide workshop participants an opportunity to work with DRT hardware. Specifically, we will conduct short experiments in which participants will operate a simulated car and engage in an N-back secondary task. We will then estimate their cognitive load using DRT hardware.

If you have an Android phone, you can download AgeLab’s N-Back App and start preparing for the experiments!

CLW 2014 announcement

We are excited to announce that CLW 2014 will be held at AutomotiveUI 2014 in Seattle, WA. The half-day workshop will take place in the morning of September 17.

The workshop has three goals:

  1. Describe how a few measures of cognitive load are collected and describe the likely advantages and disadvantages of the measurements, problems with their use and solutions that they provide in enhancing understanding: For each measure, there will be one or possibly two invited papers that will provide an overview of each measure selected. The presentation will describe current standard data collection procedures for each measure including subject selection, IRB issues, training, practice, and data logging. The presenter should go beyond recounting standard protocol, describing the practical issues they have experienced with each measure. The focus is on the method.
  2. Demonstrate how they are collected: Those attending the meeting are invited to bring hardware and software to demonstrate the measures in question. This includes DRT and eye fixation hardware and software, as well as a driving simulator or driving video game to show how the data are collected.
  3. Describe how the data from those measures are reduced and analyzed: To some extent, this will involve summarizing existing practice codified in standards. However, we are looking for presenters to go beyond what is in those documents, describing practical problems of filtering and cleaning up the data, censoring, rules for eliminating outliers, methods of quantifying lost data, identifying potential confounding factors and situations that arise with the use of a measure can bias interpretations of results and software that can help produce results. This should not be viewed as an opportunity to present a paper describing results.

The workshop organizers will bring together a number of experts from government, industry, and/or academia to address the above topics. In addition, position papers on these topics are solicited – please see our CFP. The primary focus will be on discussions in detail about practical issues, and measures that are, or will be, standardized. The papers will appear in the Adjunct Proceedings, and will be presented at the workshop in poster format.

2013 workshop report

Around 30 people from industry and academia attended CLW 2013.


Klaus Bengler gives keynote at CLW 2013

The workshop featured two invited presentations. First, Klaus Bengler gave a keynote address in which he discussed human-computer interaction in automated vehicles. Klaus’s presentation was very well received, especially as driving automation is quickly becoming more than just a dream. For example, AutomotiveUI 2013 featured a live demo of TNO’s Cooperative Adaptive Cruise Control (CACC).


Tuhin Diptiman discusses NHTSA's manual-visual guidelines

In the afternoon Tuhin Diptiman joined us  via Skype to share his assessment of NHTSA’s Manual-Visual guidelines. This discussion sparked a great deal of interest and discussion, and we expect that this interest will carry over if CLW is organized again in 2014.

In addition to the invited presentations CLW 2013 featured seven presentations by workshop participants, covering topics from utilizing physiological measurements for cognitive load assessment, to managing cognitive load using ambient displays.

We concluded the workshop with suggestions for next steps (see images below – click for larger versions). The main ideas focused on three groups of issues:

  1. There’s a need to further discuss the basics, such as the very definition of cognitive load, and its relationship to concepts such as attention.
  2. We need to improve and standardize methods/techniques. E.g. what are values of lane position variance that indicate that cognitive load has increased too much in a particular context? And how can we use the Detection Response Task (DRT) for evaluating in-vehicle interactions?
  3. There is a need to provide CLW participants with a way to interact between workshops, perhaps using a LinkedIn group.


The organizers would like to thank Microsoft Research for their financial support of CLW 2013. Thanks to Shamsi Iqbal for securing this support. We thank Klaus and Tuhin, as well as the other presenters, for giving engaging talks. Finally, we thank all of the workshop attendees for raising questions, discussing posters, and sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Pictures from the workshop are available on Flickr.

CLW 2016