This paper focuses on the analysis of experienced programmers' central nervous system response during a software development protocol. The main aim was to explore the neurological mechanisms (i.e., involved brain areas and rhythms) triggered by such a complex task. To do this, a 29-channel EEG signal was acquired on ten experienced programmers during a software development-like exercise. Then, the power spectral density at each EEG channel in standard Delta, Theta, Alpha and Beta bands has been computed and evaluated. The acquired subjects show on average a significant increase of Delta, Theta and Beta powers with respect to the baseline condition. Delta and Theta rhythms increase mostly in the frontal and parieto-occipital regions, while the Beta activity is more diffused. Furthermore, from the statistical analysis it emerged that the power increase in these three bands is significant in different time instants. Moreover, during the programming phase two subjects present a pronounced theta peak in the EEG power spectrum, while other two maintain an alpha peak, even if less pronounced with respect to the baseline condition. These results suggest the need for further investigations. This research is part of the Biofeedback Augmented Software Engineering (BASE) project, which aims at studying programmer's central and autonomic nervous systems response during the software development activity.

EEG monitoring during software development

Calcagno A.;Coelli S.;Amendola C.;Pirovano I.;Re R.;Bianchi A. M.
2020

Abstract

This paper focuses on the analysis of experienced programmers' central nervous system response during a software development protocol. The main aim was to explore the neurological mechanisms (i.e., involved brain areas and rhythms) triggered by such a complex task. To do this, a 29-channel EEG signal was acquired on ten experienced programmers during a software development-like exercise. Then, the power spectral density at each EEG channel in standard Delta, Theta, Alpha and Beta bands has been computed and evaluated. The acquired subjects show on average a significant increase of Delta, Theta and Beta powers with respect to the baseline condition. Delta and Theta rhythms increase mostly in the frontal and parieto-occipital regions, while the Beta activity is more diffused. Furthermore, from the statistical analysis it emerged that the power increase in these three bands is significant in different time instants. Moreover, during the programming phase two subjects present a pronounced theta peak in the EEG power spectrum, while other two maintain an alpha peak, even if less pronounced with respect to the baseline condition. These results suggest the need for further investigations. This research is part of the Biofeedback Augmented Software Engineering (BASE) project, which aims at studying programmer's central and autonomic nervous systems response during the software development activity.
20th IEEE Mediterranean Electrotechnical Conference, MELECON 2020 - Proceedings
978-1-7281-5200-4
attention
EEG bands
mental effort
software bugs
workload
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1157157
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