Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Sherif Elbasiouny, Ph.D. (Advisor); Ulas Sunar, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Matthew Sherwood, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering (MSBME)


High cognitive workload occurs when excessive working memory resources have been deployed to resolve sensory and cognitive processing, resulting in decremented task performance. The P300 event-related potential (ERP) component has shown sensitivity to cognitive load, and it was hypothesized that an attenuated P300 amplitude could be indicative of high cognitive load. We tested this hypothesis by having eight participants complete two continual performance tasks at increasing workload levels while simultaneously performing an oddball task, evoking P300 ERPs in either the auditory or tactile sensory channel. In our experiment, electroencephalographic recordings were collected over the parietal region to observe the P300 component. Our results show a downward trend in P300 amplitude as workload increased when performing auditory oddball tasks, although P300’s elicited by the tactile oddball tasks produced no consistent trend. These results suggest cognitive load indexing is possible in select sensory channels, though additional investigation is required.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Biomedical, Industrial & Human Factors Engineering

Year Degree Awarded