EU researchers are developing an interactive tool which presents data the way a user would prefer and, in order to inhibit brain overload, it changes the presentation continually.
Jonathan Freeman, Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London and coordinator of CEEDs, explains: “The system acknowledges when participants are getting fatigued or overloaded with information. And it adapts accordingly. It either simplifies the visualisations so as to reduce the cognitive load, thus keeping the user less stressed and more able to focus. Or it will guide the person to areas of the data representation that are not as heavy in information.”
CEED researchers first tested their system on neuroscientists, wherein huge datasets generated in this scientific discipline and animate with visual and sound displays. By providing subliminal clues, such as flashing arrows, the machine guided the neuroscientists to areas of the data that were potentially more interesting to each person. First pilots have already demonstrated the power of this approach in gaining new insights into the organisation of the brain.
As is evident the possibilities of this machine are infinite; it could enable students to study more efficiently or journalists to cross check sources more quickly. Museums in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the United States have already showed interest in the new technology.
However the extent to which this technology influences the subjects still remains a matter of debate.
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(Image Credit: Corinne Kuhlmann)