What is the current research/industry standard on measuring mental workload using objective measurements (e.g. EEG, eye-tracking)?

Do you have any suggestions for specific tools and techniques? Are there combinations of physiological measurements one should consider?


1 Answer 1


There are different parameters you can use, but as the question is not clear what exactly you want to do , I think with EEG and Task Load Index (TLI) you are good to go.

The Task load index (TLI) is the so called engagement-index and is defined by two formulas, TLI1 and TLI2. However, these indices were calculated as follows:
enter image description here

where Pθ and Pα denote the theta- and alpha-band power, respectively. Pθ,Fz and Pθ,AFz are the theta activities of Fz and AFz electrodes respectively. The θ (theta) activity was calculated by averaging the power spectrum of the θ frequency range (4-7.5 Hz). Similarly, Pα,Pz and Pα,CPzPOz are the α (alpha) activities of Pz and the pool of CPz and POz electrodes, respectively. The α activity was calculated by averaging the power spectrum of the α frequency range (8- 12.5)

This section is exactly quoted from this paper.

  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like reasonable advice, but there are some caveats, namely that higher TLI seems associated with higher performance: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25277022 $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ That completely make sense, I have seen paper using LZ as a measure of workload, so it really depends on what r u measuring and what you need it for, the interpretation is really important $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks both for your comments. It’s to compare mental workload between performing a task in a specific simulator where you must read instructions yourself vs when you can discuss task instructions with an equally competent peer. I believe you will have lower levels of WL when you don’t have to communicate with a peer, however perhaps the fact that you can share your task responsibilities actually positively impacts your WL. I’m not sure how to factor in task performance yet. $\endgroup$
    – Jeyy
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ Have you designed the task ? the timing is really important for such a task $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 7, 2018 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ I'm currently working with the design, but it will be a well-defined maritime navigation scenario. Interesting, could you please elaborate on your comment about timing, what specifically are you referring to? I really appreciate your consideration. $\endgroup$
    – Jeyy
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 12:01

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