Using Mouse and Keyboard Dynamics to Detect Cognitive Stress During Mental Arithmetic

  • Yee Mei Lim
  • Aladdin Ayesh
  • Martin Stacey
Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 591)


To build a personalized e-learning system that can deliver adaptive learning content based on student’s cognitive effort and efficiency, it is important to develop a construct that can help measuring perceived mental state, such as stress and cognitive load. The construct must be able to be quantified, computerized and automated. Our research investigates how mouse and keyboard dynamics analyses could be used to detect cognitive stress, which is induced by high mental arithmetic demand with time pressure, without using intrusive and expensive equipment. The research findings suggest that when task demand increased, task error, task duration, passive attempt, stress perception and mouse idle duration may increase, while mouse speed, left mouse click and keystroke speed decreased. The significant effects of task demand and time pressure on mouse and keystroke behaviours suggest that stress evaluation from these input devices is potentially useful for designing an adaptive e-learning system.


Stress detection Keyboard dynamics Mouse dynamics Mental arithmetic Adaptive e-learning 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Applied Sciences and ComputingTunku Abdul Rahman University CollegeKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.Faculty of TechnologyDe Montfort UniversityLeicesterUK

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