Is work in the world of digital technology really easier than hard manual work? Or is it just that we do not yet truly understand the nature and consequences of cognitive fatigue?
To answer these and many other questions concerning workers of the digital age, the BrainHealth Podcast team interviews Max L. Wilson, Assistant Professor at the School of Computer Science, Nottingham University. Wilson comes from the emerging field of human-computer interaction (HCI) and is especially interested in measuring brain activity of people using digital technology, and studying the long-term effects of such activity.
During the interview, Wilson sheds some light on the still unclear topic of mental workload, providing some productivity tips that help avoid mental fatigue and increase cognitive performance. He also discusses some currently available brain computer interfaces (e.g. Muse) and their potential in everyday life and healthcare.
Besides his academic research projects, some of which he describes in detail during the interview, Wilson is also involved in several technological projects which provide glimpses into the future of both work environments and how we take care of our brains. One, DigiTop, aims to “optimise productivity and communication between human workers and robots”. The project “Fitbit for the brain” aims to enable monitoring our mental well-being through insightful measures of mental workload and stress that goes with it. The last but not the least, Wilson is cooperating with the digital therapeutics company Brain+ on a project dealing with digital tools for early detection and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Kim Baden-Kristensen is the co-founder and CEO of Brain+, a digital therapeutics company that helps people with brain disorders and injuries to recover their fundamental cognitive brain functions and daily life capabilities by using an app-based cognitive rehabilitation platform, which is developed in close collaboration with patients, clinicians and researchers.https://www.linkedin.com/in/kbadenk/ |
Alessia Covello is a life science IT consultant working in the field of healthcare technology implementation, and advocating for better services for people with brain conditions and learning disabilities.https://www.linkedin.com/in/alessiacovello/
05:07 - Human-computer interaction - HCI - and measuring brain-computer interaction
10:10 - Brain computer interface - uses in everyday life and healthcare (e.g. ADHD, Alzheimer )
19:17 - What is cognitive workload?
22:37 - Mental workload and stress
27:00 - App-based tracking of cognitive activity
30:20 - Wilson’s technological project - DigiTop
33:34 - PRODUCTIVITY HACKS: increasing mental work capacity and reducing cognitive fatigue
39:42 - TOOL-RELATED TIPS: What software and UI designs generate most mental fatigue?
47:58 - “Fitbit for the Brain" - finding a way to measure mental workload and stress
53:17 - Take-home messages - advice for everyday life and current research trends
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