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Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 269–282 | Cite as

Analysis of Subjects’ Vulnerability in a Touch Screen Game Using Behavioral Metrics

  • Payam Parsinejad
  • Rifat Sipahi
Article

Abstract

In this article, we report results on an experimental study conducted with volunteer subjects playing a touch-screen game with two unique difficulty levels. Subjects have knowledge about the rules of both game levels, but only sufficient playing experience with the easy level of the game, making them vulnerable with the difficult level. Several behavioral metrics associated with subjects’ playing the game are studied in order to assess subjects’ mental-workload changes induced by their vulnerability. Specifically, these metrics are calculated based on subjects’ finger kinematics and decision making times, which are then compared with baseline metrics, namely, performance metrics pertaining to how well the game is played and a physiological metric called pnn50 extracted from heart rate measurements. In balanced experiments and supported by comparisons with baseline metrics, it is found that some of the studied behavioral metrics have the potential to be used to infer subjects’ mental workload changes through different levels of the game. These metrics, which are decoupled from task specifics, relate to subjects’ ability to develop strategies to play the game, and hence have the advantage of offering insight into subjects’ task-load and vulnerability assessment across various experimental settings.

Keywords

Behavioral metrics Performance metrics Heart rate variability (HRV) Vulnerability Touch-screen game 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The human subjects experiments in this study were conducted under an approved IRB protocol #11-19-11. Authors thank Naiqian Zhi in her assistance with the literature review. This work is supported in part by a DARPA Young Faculty Award #N66001-11-1-4161. The content of this research does not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the funding agency, and no official endorsement of the US Government should be inferred. RS acknowledges fruitful discussions on the topic with Professor Maurizio Porfiri (NYU Tandon School of Engineering), Paul de la Houssaye (SPAWAR), and Gill Pratt (formerly Program Manager at DARPA, currently at Toyota Research Institute). De-identified data pertaining to this study can be accessed at https://figshare.com/s/f99e1e47d65cbdc17338.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that they do not have any competing interests with the conducted research.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

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