Examining the Mechanism of Concentration on Intellectual Works by Simulation Using Cognitive Architecture

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Conference Proceedings
Authors: Kimi UedaRyuhei SakamotoHirotake IshiiHiroshi ShimodaFumiaki ObayashiJunya Morita

Abstract: In general, it is believed that concentrating on a task increases the performance of intellectual tasks such as office work, and this has been the focus of attention as an index for performance evaluation. Although there have been studies that have attempted to estimate whether or not a person is concentrating based on physiological indicators such as EEG and cerebral blood flow, and behavioral measurements such as facial expressions and posture, there has been no analysis of the mechanism of concentration that focuses on the actual cognitive process. The purpose of this study is to examine the mechanism of human concentration on intellectual tasks from the viewpoint of cognitive processes by reproducing the answering time data of cognitive tasks actually answered by humans with the cognitive architecture ACT-R (Adaptive Control of Thought--Rational) [1,2]. In this study, we made a model which runs on ACT-R to reproduce the cognitive process of successively answering a cognitive task consisting of multiple questions of constant difficulty [3], which authors have been using for evaluating intellectual concentration. The target cognitive task requires relatively complex processing, such as comparing numbers and the semantic categories of words. Therefore, in the reproduced model on ACT-R, we had to adjust a total of six parameters to fit actual answering time data of humans, including "ease of entry into short-term interruptions," which is related to whether or not the cognitive process proceeds smoothly for smooth answers, and "ease of entry into long-term rest," which is related to whether or not it is difficult to proceed with the task continuously due to fatigue for example. We focused on the characteristic of answering time data based on the shape of the answering time distribution, and used genetic algorithms to search for sub-optimal parameters of the ACT-R model to represent each of the actual answering time data of actual human answers. The number of the target actual answering time data to represent was 60 that different participants answered for 30 minutes and chosen to have various shape characteristics of answering time distributions. By comparing the distributions of the ACT-R parameter values with the features of the actual answering time data, we discussed the cognitive processes that are most closely related to the features of the answer time data. In particular, it was noteworthy that the most influential factor on intellectual work performance was the parameter that represents “ease of getting out of a long rest”.[1] Anderson John Robert: How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?,Oxford University Press, New York (2007).[2] ACT-R Research Group, Department of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University: ACT-R, http://act-r.psy.cmu.edu/ (accessed Oct. 24th, 2021)[3] Kimi Ueda, et.al: Development of a new cognitive task to measure intellectual concentration affected by room environment, The Fifth International Conference on Human- Environment System ICHES2016 Nagoya, 2016.

Keywords: Intellectual Concentration, Act-R, Answering Time Analysis

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1001075

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