Towards a Translational Method for Studying the Influence of Motivational and Affective Variables on Performance During Human-Computer Interactions

  • Jason S. MetcalfeEmail author
  • Stephen M. Gordon
  • Antony D. Passaro
  • Bret Kellihan
  • Kelvin S. Oie
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9183)


A primary goal in operational neuroscience is to create translational pathways linking laboratory observations with real-world applications. Achieving this requires a method that enables study of variability in operator performance that does not typically emerge under controlled laboratory circumstances; the present paper describes the development of such a paradigm. An essential aspect of the design process involved eliciting subject engagement without using extrinsic incentive (e.g. money) as a motivating stressor and, instead, tapping an appropriate intrinsic incentive (i.e. competitive stress). Two sources of competition were initially considered including one based on self-competition and another based on competition with another individual; ultimately, the latter approach was selected. A virtual competitor was designed to affect individual valuation of momentary successes and failures in specific ways and preliminary results revealed early indicators of success in meeting this goal. Discussion focuses on implications and challenges for future research using similar translational paradigms.


Competitive stress Affect Motivation Translational science 



The authors would like to our colleagues in the Translational Neuroscience Branch of the Army Research Laboratory for their help in designing and vetting this research project. This research was sponsored by the Army Research Laboratory and was accomplished under Cognition and Neuroergonomics Collaborative Technology Alliances (CaN CTA; Cooperative Agreement #W911NF-10-2-0022). The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing official policies, either expressed or implied, of the Army Research Laboratory or the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for Government purposes notwithstanding any copyright notation herein.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason S. Metcalfe
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Stephen M. Gordon
    • 1
  • Antony D. Passaro
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bret Kellihan
    • 1
  • Kelvin S. Oie
    • 2
  1. 1.Scientific Research DepartmentDCS CorporationAlexandriaUSA
  2. 2.Human Research and Engineering Directorate, US Army Research LaboratoryAberdeen Proving GroundAberdeenUSA

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