How We Measure Cognitive Fatigue
Simply put, when you are cognitively fatigued your brain is not the same is when you are rested. And of course, if your brain is in a different state when you are cognitively fatigued we can see that in the EEG coming from your brain.
To help us see whether your brain is fatigued or not we start by having you play a simple game on an iPhone or an iPad while we record EEG data from a MUSE EEG headband. The game is simple, you see a series of blue and green circles and we get you to touch the screen when you see a green circle and to do nothing when you see a blue circle. Watch the video below to get an idea of what the game is like.
Perhaps the coolest thing about how we do this is that we can do it with a MUSE EEG headband, an iPhone, and in under 5 minutes! So, we will each be playing this game (and a few others - more on that later) a couple of times a day and we will be examining our brains scores (the ERP response I mentioned above) to see how it changes over time - thus validating a system for tracking cognitive fatigue in astronauts.
Dr. Olav Krigolson is the Associate Director for the Centre for Biomedical Research, an Associate Professor in Neuroscience, and the Principle Investigator of the Theoretical and Applied Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Victoria.