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seoul tower circa 2011

Crushing Dynamics

#amomentwithmaghie #discussionzone

In any production process, (such as navigating a cockpit or scrolling the latest social media application), multiple dynamic tasks that require flexible thinking and continually changing circumstances to evaluate can cause the human operator to become overwhelmed or heavily loaded at times. At the cost of adapting, cognitive resources are depleted with persistent coping. 

By improving the quality of semantic episodes utilizing the concept of interaction rather than stimulation, the working memory as researched by Baddeley (2012) is more accurate in successful exchange congruent to the long-term memory functions. Research has also shown that knowledge has an impact on experience (Goldstein, 2018). Therefore, the quality of unique recollection could be viewed as a function of the division and interaction between individual semantic episodes and episodic memory.  

“Familiarity is associated with semantic memory because it is not associated with the circumstances under which knowledge was acquired. Recollection is associated with episodic memory because it includes details about what was happening when knowledge was acquired plus an awareness of the event as it was experienced in the past” (Goldstein, p. 176, 2018).  

Users of mobile devices face difficulties in cognitive overload as current research standards suggest. At this point without a universally accepted “working” definition, a specific “workload” cannot be determined which presents human factors professionals with the first challenge (Cain, 2007). Cognitive overload stems from a variety of stimuli which is not yet fully understood (Goldstein, 2018; Cain, 2007). Neuropsychologists support the separation of the short-term and long-term memory processes; yet “there is evidence that these functions are not as separated as previously thought” (Goldstein, p. 171, 2018). In lieu of this issue, forward progression requires advancements to be made without all pieces of information in the present understanding.  

Supported by the Euler buckling theory, this overload of information can cause a “crush” of input at the synchronization processing point, leading to workload failure and cognitive wandering. As a result, to reduce mistakes in task switching and improve the user experience by connecting human-centric design, a few options for the human-machine interface (HMI) in relation to mobile devices could be considered. In combining the ideas of chunking information and the phonological loop (Baddeley, 2012), it may be possible to integrate an interactive auditory system that produces a screen response tied to a specific location of the visual scanning area during the main task at attention. If based on the user’s best understanding of the required response, it could lessen the issues of automation bias. 

To construct a study to examine how to demonstrate this aspect of cognition, the specific 
research question is: 

“How does the role of cognitive overload in relation to individual experience become a factor in the formation of long-term memory?” 

Human factors professionals must identify influences from various sources that might result in potential threats or be available as benefits, such as operator workload, external stimuli, nature of tasks, and other factors such as line of sight that can influence the formation of semantic episodes that lead to the recollection of episodic experiences. 

Considering stress factors in individual experience connects an emotional and social aspect to the construct of memory formation which may affect all facets of retention and utilization. Exposure to stressors lowers the ability to reach internal sustained attention, although stress itself is not positive or negative. When certain stressors are not processed in a top hierarchy for a response, it is possible that substances such as adrenaline cause toxic loops causing elevated body processes leading to information overload on the cellular level which could be linked to top wellness issues such as heart disease and cancer. Stressors such as low-frequency vibrations and noise (LFVN) “seriously affect mental and physical tasks,” often contributing to “problems such as headaches, fatigue, motion sickness, and eye strain, and interfere with the ability to read and interpret instruments effectively” (Dhillon, 1999).   

Due to the persistence of the visual effect, displays can be difficult to read when transitioning from scanning on a high level of attention with a low task load to immediate direct focus of both attention and workload stimuli. This is a stressor due to the interaction with mobile devices and must be addressed in future human-machine interfacing (HMI) models.  

By integrating echoic memory and chunking of information with cognizance of the similarity effect, information could be received more effectively. Chunking creates neural patterns in the episodic buffer that relate to mental rotation (Goldstein, 2018). This would assist in the reduction of task-switching errors due to automation bias, effectively lessening the workload stress and improving cognitive functioning based on individual experiences being improved with interaction rather than stimulation.  However, the construct of the display itself such as a hand-held device may affect the interaction or the stimulation, and possibly, both. 

Internal sustained attention has been researched in the Buddhist monk community showing that acuity and perceptual discrimination can improve vigilance on low-load tasks (LaBrie, 2014).  If cycles such as the circadian rhythm create our sleep pattern to naturally re-energize the body as referenced by Guastello (2013), it is possible that other rhythms based on low-frequency vibrations and noise (LVFN) play into an audible rhythm that affects the discrimination index and sustained attention reflecting changes in the level of default mode network (DMN) activity, as well as the cognitive level of information being processed as low- or high-load. It is possible that automation bias could take effect due to a low task load. By integrating a display system based on Baddeley’s working memory concept (2012), a central “hub” for information could be developed which would integrate a visual display offering phonological cues and, even possibly, pressure changes or vibrational cues, in which a “focus” feature could be used by connecting the line of sight to a specific sector of space through biosensor metrics. 


Improving cognitive control through task event-related potential (ERP) measurements would allow the interface to determine the allocation of attention as a function of the central executive to the external stimuli to present a series of steps that would bring the user from the current cognitive state to the needed state of alert without added stress from interacting with the human-machine interface (HMI) such as low-frequency vibrational noises (LFVN) or visual strains. By improving the semantic memory interactions, the ability to utilize the working memory in conjunction with the long-term memory leads to an increased functional result of a user’s division and interaction of the sensory and procedural memories leading to live-experience response based on healthy stasis of external and internal sustained attention supported by human-centric design.  


Baddeley, A. (2012). A Lecture in Psychology: Working Memory: Theories, Models, and Controversies. Annual Reviews. Retrieved November 16, 2022, from A Lecture in Psychology: Working Memory: Theories, Models, and Controversies.  

Cain, B. (2007). A Review of the Mental Workload Literature. Defense Technical Information Center with WayBack Machine. Retrieved November 16, 2022, from https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/ADA474193.pdf.  

Dhillon, B.S. (1999). Engineering Maintainability.99-119. Gulf Professional Publishing. Retrieved November 6, 2022, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/low-frequency-vibration 

Goldstein, E. B. (2018). Cognitive psychology: connecting mind research and everyday experience (5th ed.).92-127. Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 

Guastello, S. J. (2013). Human factors engineering and ergonomics: A systems approach, second edition.202-222. Taylor & Francis Group. 

LaBrie, R. (2014). The Cognitive Neuroscience of Sustained Attention and Classical Mindfulness: Volume 1. YouTube. Retrieved November 6, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JusQmWAWc_I

Village, J., Salustri, F. A., & Neumann, W. P. (2013). Cognitive mapping: Revealing the links between human factors and strategic goals in organizations. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 43(4), 304–313. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ergon.2013.05.001 


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