Eye-Tracking Technology for Estimation of Cognitive Load After Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Ashley SaffordEmail author
  • Jessica Kegel
  • Jamie Hershaw
  • Doug Girard
  • Mark Ettenhofer
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9183)


The goal of this study was to develop an eye-tracking based tool to measure cognitive effort as an approach to assess injury-related changes in brain function. A set of novel tasks were developed to examine changes in manual and saccadic reaction time under varying levels of cognitive load and cuing conditions. Twenty-six healthy individuals completed these working memory and continuous monitoring tasks while eye movements were recorded. Results indicate that these tasks, in combination with eye-tracking measures, are sensitive to cognitive difficulty as manual and saccadic response times increased under the higher load and invalid cuing conditions. These procedures show promise for utility in measuring cognitive effort and track the subtle changes associated with mild TBI.


Eye-tracking Cognitive load Mild TBI 



Support for this research was provided by Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) Award #W81XWH-13-1-0095. The technology described in this manuscript is included in U.S. Patent Application #61/779,801, with rights assigned to USUHS. The views and opinions presented in this manuscript are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the position of USUHS, the Department of Defense, or the United States government.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashley Safford
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Jessica Kegel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jamie Hershaw
    • 2
  • Doug Girard
    • 1
    • 3
  • Mark Ettenhofer
    • 2
  1. 1.Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military MedicineBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical and Clinical PsychologyUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA
  3. 3.Loyola University MarylandBaltimoreUSA

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