Measuring concentration while programming with low-cost bci devices: Differences between debugging and creativity tasks
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Computing devices have become a primary working tool for many professional roles, among them software programmers. In order to enable a more productive interaction between computers and humans for programming purposes it is important to acquire an awareness of human attention/concentration levels. In this work we report on a controlled experiment to determine if a low-cost BCI (Brain Computer Interface) device is capable of classifying whether a user is fully concentrated while programming, during three typical tasks: creativity (writing code), systematic (documenting the code) and debugging (improving or modifying the code to make it work). This study employs EEG (Electroencephalogram) signals, to measure an individual’s concentration levels. The chosen BCI device is NeuroSky’s Mindwave due to its availability in the market and low cost. The three tasks described are performed in a physical and digital form. A statistically significant difference between debugging and creativity tasks is revealed in our experiments, in both physical and digital tests. This is a good lead for following experiments to focus on these two areas. Systematic tasks might not bring good results due to their nature.
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