Print Email Facebook Twitter Evidence for effects of task difficulty but not learning on neurophysiological variables associated with effort Title Evidence for effects of task difficulty but not learning on neurophysiological variables associated with effort Author Brouwer, A.M. Hogervorst, M.A. Holewijn, M. van Erp, J.B.F. Publication year 2014 Abstract Learning to master a task is expected to be accompanied by a decrease in effort during task execution. We examine the possibility to monitor learning using physiological measures that have been reported to reflect effort or workload. Thirty-five participants performed different difficulty levels of the n-back task while a range of physiological and performance measurements were recorded. In order to dissociate non-specific time-related effects fromeffects of learning, we used the easiest level as a baseline condition. This condition is expected to only reflect non-specific effects of time. Performance and subjective measures confirmed more learning for the difficult level than for the easy level. The difficulty levels affected physiological variables in the way as expected, therewith showing their sensitivity. However, while most of the physiological variables were also affected by time, time-related effects were generally the same for the easy and the difficult level. Thus, in a well-controlled experiment that enabled the dissociation of general time effects from learning we did not find physiological variables to indicate decreasing effort associated with learning. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Subject Human PerformancesPCS - Perceptual and Cognitive SystemsELSS - Earth, Life and Social SciencesTrainingEEGEffortEyeLearningPhysiologyWorkloadElectroencephalogramExerciseEyelid reflexLearning curveMental dissociationMental taskMeurophysiologyPhysiological processPsychophysiologyResponse timeSkin conductanceTask performance To reference this document use: http://resolver.tudelft.nl/uuid:6c6b1e12-c9ec-4486-ac00-ae783ed19f3c DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2014.05.004 TNO identifier 508645 Source International Journal of Psychophysiology, 93 (2), 242-252 Document type article Files To receive the publication files, please send an e-mail request to TNO Library.