Monitoring Mental Stress Through Mouse Behaviour and Decision-Making Patterns

  • Filipe GonçalvesEmail author
  • Davide Carneiro
  • José Pêgo
  • Paulo Novais
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 806)


More and more technological advances offer new paradigms for training, allowing novel forms of teaching and learning to be devised. A widely accepted prediction is that computing will move to the background, weaving itself into the fabric of our everyday living spaces and projecting the human user into the foreground. This forecast turns out to be an opportunity for human-computer interaction as a way to monitor and assess the user’s stress levels during high-risk tasks. The main effects of stress are increased physiological arousal, somatic complaints, mood disturbances (anxiety, fear and anger) and diminished quality of working life (e.g. reduced job satisfaction). To mitigate these problems, it is necessary to detect stressful users and apply coping measures to manage stress. Human-computer interaction could be improved by having machines naturally monitor their users’ stress, in a non-invasive and non-intrusive way. This article discusses the development of a random forest classifier with the goal of enabling the assessment of high school students’ stress during academic exams, through the analysis of mouse behaviour and decision-making patterns.


Stress monitoring Human-computer interaction Performance assessment Machine learning 



This work is part-funded by ERDF–European Regional Development Fund and by National Funds through the FCT–Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology within project NORTE-01-0247-FEDER-017832. The work of Filipe Gonçalves is supported by a FCT grant with the reference ICVS-BI-2016-005.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Filipe Gonçalves
    • 1
    Email author
  • Davide Carneiro
    • 1
    • 2
  • José Pêgo
    • 3
    • 4
  • Paulo Novais
    • 1
  1. 1.Algoritmi Research Centre/Department of InformaticsUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal
  2. 2.CIICESI, ESTG, Polytechnic Institute of PortoFelgueirasPortugal
  3. 3.School of Health Sciences, Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS)University of MinhoBragaPortugal
  4. 4.ICVS/3B’s - PT Government Associate LaboratoryBraga/GuimarãesPortugal

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