Decoding of emotional responses to user-unfriendly computer interfaces via electroencephalography signals

Natsue Yoshimura, Osamu Koga, Yu Katsui, Yousuke Ogata, Hiroyuki Kambara, Yasuharu Koike


When a user interacts with an interface such as a computer, its effects on specific biosignals may reflect emotional responses to the interface, providing a means to evaluate usability. Towards the development of an interface that can adapt its usability based on the user’s emotions, here we decoded electroencephalography (EEG) activity occurring during interaction with a user-unfriendly interface. Participants performed target-reaching tasks while irregular transformations were applied to cursor motion to induce frustration. Our results showed that differential signals from the frontal electrodes (AF3-AF4) were sufficient to classify between brain activities during transformed (frustrated) and normal cursor motion (non-frustrated). Functional magnetic resonance imaging during the same tasks showed significant activations in the middle frontal gyrus, orbitofrontal gyrus, and inferior parietal cortex, areas found to be related to negative emotions. Altogether, these results suggest that the usability of an interface can be measured from EEG signals, which could aid in the development of adaptive interfaces that increase its intuitiveness. 

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