Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

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Tyndmyr
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue May 17, 2016 8:39 pm UTC

What is it, then?

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby morriswalters » Tue May 17, 2016 9:24 pm UTC

The papers suggest that the fuel is indeed some form of glucose. The suggestion is that the load is more or less constant, that the attention you give to the task is balanced so that some tasks lose focus while others gain. This explains why people devoting cognitive capacity to their phones walk into obstacles. And given that the brain consumes so much of the bodies resources this isn't surprising is it. It also supports my premise.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby ucim » Wed May 18, 2016 2:00 am UTC

Consider whether we're (proposing) measuring the right thing. We throw terms like "easy" and "hard" and "tired" and "spent"... taking advantage of the already-familiar energy-related meanings, but I'm not at all convinced that F=ma energy is really what's important here. Yes, energy is needed to produce a change in brain-state (or any other kind of state), but what's really important is a metaphor, not an identity.

It "feels hard" to come up with ideas, but that feeling itself is an idea, not a lack of glucose.

[broad simplistic speculation]
The brain has certain pathways that are "natural" due to practice (of some sort) and aptitude (of a different sort). When working along those pathways, the brain is "comfortable". But working against those pathways, or cross to them, makes the brain "uncomfortable". It is this discomfort that we sense as "difficulty". The brain has to rearrange itself much more completely to generate or accommodate these new ideas. Even if more glucose is needed, that's not the source of the feeling. Rather, the source is the brain's own defense against excessive activity (aka laziness). Often however, accomplishing stuff requires these new ideas. Reading, writing, changing one's political stance... they all trigger the "discomfort" pattern in the brain. It's "work".

Training and positive reinforcement causes other brain-state alterations that compensate for this; it's (one reason) why some people find these things fun. And some people are inherently good at {whatever}, so there is much less (or no) discomfort created. But for most people, they still "seem hard" because of the brain-discomfort thing.

We use "hard" and "work" to convey this feeling, but glucose and ATP are not what's really at issue.
[/broad simplistic speculation]

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby morriswalters » Wed May 18, 2016 3:45 am UTC

I have no idea, I just know it takes me more time to read a book than to watch a movie made from that book. I can't talk when I read, I can do one or the other, but not both. Of course the text of the book never goes away but the interruption breaks my concentration. On the other hand I can divert enough attention from a movie to talk to someone seated next to me without losing the thread of the plot or stopping the movie.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby ijuin » Wed May 18, 2016 4:05 am UTC

I think that the distinction that makes reading less "passive" than audio/video media (or watching a live performance or lecture) is that the audio/video/live item progresses through its content on its own without regard for where the audience's attention is, whereas the written content is deliberately moved through by the reader. It is somewhat like the difference between driving along a road verses riding while someone else drives.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby elasto » Wed May 18, 2016 5:57 am UTC

It's true that you can 'switch off' or 'zone out' while watching a tv show, and sort of absorb it peripherally (though you probably miss a lot more than you think you do), whereas when you zone out reading a book you tend to end up reading the same paragraph like five times.

This is probably because when you zone out watching tv, probably not all of your senses dull at the same time or to the same extent; So you might stare through the tv for a bit but still process the audio, or vice versa. When you read, only one sense is in play.

I think that's probably more what's going on rather than any artificial 'active'/'passive' divide... As has been stated, you can have a non-demanding book or a demanding movie/play/game; In addition you can skim-read a book and get relatively little out of it as a result; To use the driving analogy, you can hare through a town at 100mph, not noticing much of anything at all of the sights - compared to being forced to stop and smell the roses when someone takes you on a slow, guided tour. So there's no hard-and-fast rules here I feel.

(Not sure that was a distinction worth making in the original thread either - where the idea was that libraries with physical books could be replaced by eReaders with digital ones - requiring identical 'effort' to consume*)

Spoiler:
*though of course far less effort to actually borrow the book - and so hopefully more people would actually end up reading - as well as being cheaper overall to administer.

Let's see if I can derail this thread sufficiently that it has to be merged back into the original :D

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 18, 2016 11:49 am UTC

elasto wrote:It's true that you can 'switch off' or 'zone out' while watching a tv show, and sort of absorb it peripherally (though you probably miss a lot more than you think you do), whereas when you zone out reading a book you tend to end up reading the same paragraph like five times.
I dunno, I've zoned out reading a book and suddenly the protagonist is in a different continent and the suns coming up through my blinds.

morriswalters wrote:The papers suggest that the fuel is indeed some form of glucose. The suggestion is that the load is more or less constant, that the attention you give to the task is balanced so that some tasks lose focus while others gain. This explains why people devoting cognitive capacity to their phones walk into obstacles. And given that the brain consumes so much of the bodies resources this isn't surprising is it. It also supports my premise.
'The papers'?

No, the brain consumes glucose (your whole body does), but as you said, 'the load is more or less constant'. Meaning 'thinking hard' doesn't consume 'more glucose'. That's the whole point of this side track - the spurious idea that reading burns more glucose because you're 'thinking harder'.

Unless your premise is 'the brain consumes glucose at a steady rate and thinking hard doesn't change that' then nothing mentioned in this thread supports your premise.

Tyndmyr wrote:What is it, then?
I'm not trying to be rude, but it's the tests I listed twice to you. Those would be interesting and valid tests to use.

@ucim - your speculation is sort of a mix of cognitive and neuroscience, and isn't really supported by the literature afaik. "Preference" for activities isn't really at task here, and the brains plasticity is >0 but not like... 'And now that I've changed my mind on Trump, my Occipital lobe bypasses my hypothalamus altogether!'
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby morriswalters » Wed May 18, 2016 1:06 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:'The papers'?
I linked to some things in a previous post. Here is one.
Izawwlgood wrote:No, the brain consumes glucose (your whole body does), but as you said, 'the load is more or less constant'. Meaning 'thinking hard' doesn't consume 'more glucose'. That's the whole point of this side track - the spurious idea that reading burns more glucose because you're 'thinking harder'.

Unless your premise is 'the brain consumes glucose at a steady rate and thinking hard doesn't change that' then nothing mentioned in this thread supports your premise.
If it takes 8 hours to read a book, and a lesser time to watch a movie of that same book, than you would have spent more energy on the book than the movie for the same information. Simply because it took you longer to consume it. Even if the rate of glucose consumption is constant. You can't consume text as quickly as you can consume video. I hate using analogies here, but you have a pipe that can pass 10000 gallons per minute of water and your shoving thick molasses though it it will take more time and effort to pass an 10000 gallons of molasses than 10000 gallons of water. Text is the molasses and video is the water.

Consider the example of audio books as compared to a printed book. I drive to Chicago and listen to my book. Even with the distraction of driving, if it doesn't get too busy than I will get the gist of the book. The busier it gets the less of the book I retain. If it gets busy enough so much of my attention will be focused on driving that retention will drop close to zero for the audio book. When most of my attention is consumed by the act of driving that to me it would appear that the task is consuming most of the energy of the constant amount available.

So I stand by my assertion that you exert more cognitive effort to read a book. It just isn't an efficient way to consume media, however much I enjoy it.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 18, 2016 1:27 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:I linked to some things in a previous post. Here is one.
I'll poke over this. I'm seeing somewhat mixed statements and somewhat mixed results in other papers, like this.

morriswalters wrote:If it takes 8 hours to read a book, and a lesser time to watch a movie of that same book, than you would have spent more energy on the book than the movie for the same information.
You're still making this comparison, and I don't know why - 'Fight Club the book' is not the same piece of media as 'Fight Club the movie'. You are comparing apples to oranges, and the thing you are measuring here is 'same piece of information', which is not the case. Your brain isn't saying 'Ok, to understand the heroes struggle I need to expend 500 calories, so if that happens in 2 hours man I'm tired, I wish I was reading a book where it happens in 8 hours instead'.

Simply put, you are trying to compare 'units of information per hour' in a manner that is wholly incongruous.

morriswalters wrote:Consider the example of audio books as compared to a printed book. I drive to Chicago and listen to my book. Even with the distraction of driving, if it doesn't get too busy than I will get the gist of the book. The busier it gets the less of the book I retain. If it gets busy enough so much of my attention will be focused on driving that retention will drop close to zero for the audio book. When most of my attention is consumed by the act of driving that to me it would appear that the task is consuming most of the energy of the constant amount available.
Or, it could be that humans aren't particularly good at multitasking, and that driving takes some cognitive effort as does listening to a story? If you wanted to make an equivalent analogy, why not, say, watch a movie while also completing a sudoku puzzle. Do you think that your capacity to finish the puzzle would negatively impact your ability to focus on the movie, or vice-versa?

morriswalters wrote:So I stand by my assertion that you exert more cognitive effort to read a book. It just isn't an efficient way to consume media, however much I enjoy it.
Maybe not for you! I think for a number of definitions of 'efficient' it's terribly effective.
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby ucim » Wed May 18, 2016 2:12 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:I just know it takes me more time to read a book than to watch a movie made from that book.
The movie is typically missing a lot of stuff too, plot wise. You can't really compare them well in general.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 18, 2016 3:35 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:What is it, then?
I'm not trying to be rude, but it's the tests I listed twice to you. Those would be interesting and valid tests to use.'


You have posted a link only once since I joined this thread. It was to the sci-american "does thinking burn more calories" article, which, while relevant, is not a test or a protocol for them.

You have casually referenced stuff like fMri and regions. Greeeat. Name dropping technologies is not a testing protocol.

So, no, you haven't.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby morriswalters » Wed May 18, 2016 4:07 pm UTC

ucim wrote:The movie is typically missing a lot of stuff too, plot wise. You can't really compare them well in general.
Both tell a story and have the same construction. If it makes you feel better take any book and any movie so long as they are targeted for the same audience. The movie will always be shorter.
Izawwlgood wrote:Or, it could be that humans aren't particularly good at multitasking, and that driving takes some cognitive effort as does listening to a story? If you wanted to make an equivalent analogy, why not, say, watch a movie while also completing a sudoku puzzle. Do you think that your capacity to finish the puzzle would negatively impact your ability to focus on the movie, or vice-versa?
Humans can't multitask. Period. And after looking up what Soduku is, I would say that you either do the puzzle or watch the movie, you can't do both. Since you can't look at the puzzle and watch the movie at the same time. However if you watch the movie for 65 percent of the time and work on the puzzle the other 35 percent than your energy expenditure will fall along those percentages while doing those two tasks. Assuming that the use of glucose by the brain is a constant and assuming you don't split your attention any other way. This isn't rocket science.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby ucim » Wed May 18, 2016 4:20 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
ucim wrote:The movie is typically missing a lot of stuff too, plot wise. You can't really compare them well in general.
Both tell a story and have the same construction. If it makes you feel better take any book and any movie so long as they are targeted for the same audience. The movie will always be shorter.
I suppose both have a beginning, a middle, and an end too. That doesn't make them equivalent.

It's not sufficient that they be targeted at the same audience. If one is telling an incomplete story (which the movie version almost always is) while the other tells the entire story, then you have an invalid comparison.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby morriswalters » Wed May 18, 2016 6:00 pm UTC

I find myself arguing a truism, that a picture is worth a thousand words. Go figure. Yet if I tell you to describe in detail what you see in front of you to me in text, how good a picture could you give me as compared to a camera which shows me what your eyes see? Text is low bandwidth. To get anywhere near the same information that you could get from video is going to require much more text and much more work.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 18, 2016 6:30 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:You have posted a link only once since I joined this thread. It was to the sci-american "does thinking burn more calories" article, which, while relevant, is not a test or a protocol for them.

You have casually referenced stuff like fMri and regions. Greeeat. Name dropping technologies is not a testing protocol.

So, no, you haven't.
Your question is a bit like saying 'What tool could possibly be used to regulate the flow of traffic through intersections?' and when someone responds "Traffic lights, Traffic Signs, Crossing Guards, or basic rules governing behavior at intersections" you respond with "Yes, but what tool could possibly be used?"

I provided tests that could be used to identify changes in brain functionality during high or low cognitive loads. To list those tests for you again, that list includes but is not limited to, fMRI, cortisol levels, pupillary reflex or eye movements, and EEGs. Those right there are some of the tests that you could use. This isn't 'name dropping', this is 'me telling you what tests could be used'.

morriswalters wrote:Both tell a story and have the same construction. If it makes you feel better take any book and any movie so long as they are targeted for the same audience. The movie will always be shorter.
But no one is talking about 'construction' at least insofar as context of stories, we're talking about format of media used to convey information. What that information is is irrelevant.

morriswalters wrote:Humans can't multitask. Period. And after looking up what Soduku is, I would say that you either do the puzzle or watch the movie, you can't do both. Since you can't look at the puzzle and watch the movie at the same time. However if you watch the movie for 65 percent of the time and work on the puzzle the other 35 percent than your energy expenditure will fall along those percentages while doing those two tasks. Assuming that the use of glucose by the brain is a constant and assuming you don't split your attention any other way. This isn't rocket science.
Yes, indeed, which is exactly what my point was in response to you bringing up difficulties in listening to a book on tape while driving. The multitask there is 'listening to a book on tape' and 'driving'. Just like the multitask in the example I provided is 'doing Sudoku' and 'watching a movie'. If you want to make an argument for a multitask that utilizes separate sensory perceptions (say, auditory and visual) instead of identical ones (both visual), sure, but that's not really the issue I was trying to underline.

But, again, the point is that glucose use by the brain is largely constant irrespective of the activity your brain is getting up to, or, at most, certain activities stress your cognitive faculties and may induce a stress response (e.g., eating comfort food to alleviate elevated cortisol), but that high cognitive load in and of itself does not require higher glucose consumption.

morriswalters wrote:I find myself arguing a truism, that a picture is worth a thousand words. Go figure. Yet if I tell you to describe in detail what you see in front of you to me in text, how good a picture could you give me as compared to a camera which shows me what your eyes see? Text is low bandwidth. To get anywhere near the same information that you could get from video is going to require much more text and much more work.
But 'ideas' are not quantifiable in terms of bandwidth. A complex story/text may require much higher cognitive faculty than, say, a monochromatic piece of modern art (and no, this is not a knock at modern art). Something being visual does not inherently make it a higher cognitive load.

Which is kind of funny - weren't you earlier claiming that because a book has lower bandwidth, it requires higher cognitive load to read something than it does to watch the 'same story' on TV? Isn't that sort of the opposite of what you're pointing to here, that reading should require a lower cognitive load since less 'bandwidth' is being conveyed over text?
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 18, 2016 6:35 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:You have posted a link only once since I joined this thread. It was to the sci-american "does thinking burn more calories" article, which, while relevant, is not a test or a protocol for them.

You have casually referenced stuff like fMri and regions. Greeeat. Name dropping technologies is not a testing protocol.

So, no, you haven't.
Your question is a bit like saying 'What tool could possibly be used to regulate the flow of traffic through intersections?' and when someone responds "Traffic lights, Traffic Signs, Crossing Guards, or basic rules governing behavior at intersections" you respond with "Yes, but what tool could possibly be used?"

I provided tests that could be used to identify changes in brain functionality during high or low cognitive loads. To list those tests for you again, that list includes but is not limited to, fMRI, cortisol levels, pupillary reflex or eye movements, and EEGs. Those right there are some of the tests that you could use. This isn't 'name dropping', this is 'me telling you what tests could be used'.


Look, energy expenditure is measured in calories.

What is your proposed metric? What's the unit, for starters?

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 18, 2016 6:55 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Look, energy expenditure is measured in calories. What is your proposed metric? What's the unit, for starters?
Oh, have you not been following the discussion? Different cognitive loads do not assuredly result in different neuronal caloric consumption.

But sure, units -
fMRI - blood flow per unit of time in brain areas of interest.
Cortisol levels - concentration
Pupillary Reflex or Eye Movements - I'm less certain here, presumably 'dilation rate', 'speed of movement' or such.
EEG - Activity? I believe typically four frequencies are measured (alpha, beta, gamma, delta), and various analyses are performed such as change in amplitude, minis, eJPS? I always found e-phys kind of crazy.

The point is 'cognitive load' is the thing to measure, NOT glucose. Cognitive load can be measured by at least one of the methods listed above, perhaps at least by proxy.
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby morriswalters » Wed May 18, 2016 7:14 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:But 'ideas' are not quantifiable in terms of bandwidth. A complex story/text may require much higher cognitive faculty than, say, a monochromatic piece of modern art (and no, this is not a knock at modern art). Something being visual does not inherently make it a higher cognitive load.

Which is kind of funny - weren't you earlier claiming that because a book has lower bandwidth, it requires higher cognitive load to read something than it does to watch the 'same story' on TV? Isn't that sort of the opposite of what you're pointing to here, that reading should require a lower cognitive load since less 'bandwidth' is being conveyed over text?
A book does have a lower bandwidth and it is a greater cognitive load. You're able to consume video faster because of how you evolved. But reading takes over that available resource and keeps it busy for a much longer period of time to do a task that could be done quicker by video. And by moving it to audio as in a audio book you shifted it to a lower bandwidth channel which frees up the visual resource. This quote on extraneous cognitive load may be clearer.
An example of extraneous cognitive load occurs when there are two possible ways to describe a square to a student.[20] A square is a figure and should be described using a figural medium. Certainly an instructor can describe a square in a verbal medium, but it takes just a second and far less effort to see what the instructor is talking about when a learner is shown a square, rather than having one described verbally. In this instance, the efficiency of the visual medium is preferred. This is because it does not unduly load the learner with unnecessary information. This unnecessary cognitive load is described as extraneous.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 18, 2016 7:21 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:A book does have a lower bandwidth and it is a greater cognitive load. You're able to consume video faster because of how you evolved. But reading takes over that available resource and keeps it busy for a much longer period of time to do a task that could be done quicker by video. And by moving it to audio as in a audio book you shifted it to a lower bandwidth channel which frees up the visual resource. This quote on extraneous cognitive load may be clearer.
I think at this point you're mixing terms quite heavily, and making completely untenable assertions. I don't really know to respond other than remind you that the evidence does not support the notion that 'books are lower bandwidth and higher cognitive load' or that 'you can consume video faster because of how you evolved'.

Yes, we can make sense of visual inputs and some information is best translated via visuals (e.g., try accurately describing a face to someone without showing a picture) but you are still comparing not just apples to oranges (edible things! fruits! things that grow on trees! things with ascorbic acid!) and are actually comparing submarines to Tuesday. I'll remind you that humans are ALSO quite evolved to deal with language, as well as non-verbal language.

To repeat, the brain does not operate via 'fixed bandwidth per input stream and/or cognitive process and/or output stream'. Some people are really good at talking to a friend while they also do sudoku ('input/output/cognitive/auditory/visual/spoken' and 'visual/kinetic/cognitive'), others are really good at singing a song while they drive a car ('cognitive/output/spoken and 'cognitive/kinetic/output/input'), while others can do neurosurgery and listen to books on tape ('output/kinetic/cognitive' and 'input/auditory/cognitive'). My point is that you're making these very spurious claims about the way brains work and what is and isn't a cognitive load and what is a 'better cognitive load' that I don't think hold up at all.
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 18, 2016 7:42 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Look, energy expenditure is measured in calories. What is your proposed metric? What's the unit, for starters?
Oh, have you not been following the discussion? Different cognitive loads do not assuredly result in different neuronal caloric consumption.


*sigh* I am entirely aware. The point of the entire calorie thing was to point out that other "measurements" bandied about are currently subjective as shit, not good data.

But sure, units -
fMRI - blood flow per unit of time in brain areas of interest.
Cortisol levels - concentration
Pupillary Reflex or Eye Movements - I'm less certain here, presumably 'dilation rate', 'speed of movement' or such.
EEG - Activity? I believe typically four frequencies are measured (alpha, beta, gamma, delta), and various analyses are performed such as change in amplitude, minis, eJPS? I always found e-phys kind of crazy.

The point is 'cognitive load' is the thing to measure, NOT glucose. Cognitive load can be measured by at least one of the methods listed above, perhaps at least by proxy.


The "brain area of interest" thing is well, sketchy as hell. Same, same for EEG. Super subjective, not really anything like a proper caloric measurement.

Human saccadic rate is pretty known. Saccade speed is due to magnitude of movement, doesn't really vary on anything else to any significant degree*. I sincerely doubt that you have any actual measurements demonstrating a relationship between cognitive load and how rapidly someone is refocusing their eyes.

Cortisol levels are mostly talked about in regards to a daily cycle, and kind of keep to that cycle even if your particular habit is varied then. Interesting for many things, but probably a really shitty way of measuring concentration in reading vs watching television. Overall stress level, sure. That's not *exactly* the same as concentration.

Again, you are listing "ways in which something could be, I dunno, theoretically measured, I guess". You don't actually have any measurements to demonstrate cognitive load.

*Discounting microsaccades which are pretty constant.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Zohar » Wed May 18, 2016 7:46 pm UTC

I can only wonder, do you expect Izzy to write a research proposal for you or something?
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 18, 2016 7:53 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:I can only wonder, do you expect Izzy to write a research proposal for you or something?


No. Just an equivalence to "this activity takes x calories". In whichever measurement system he prefers.

Yknow, a measurement.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Zohar » Wed May 18, 2016 7:58 pm UTC

Ah, so not a research proposal, you're looking for him to have completed the research already. Got it.
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed May 18, 2016 8:05 pm UTC

I mean, all these claims about what constitutes an "active" task or requires more concentration is otherwise based on not a scrap of data, yes?

So hey, why not use calories burned? At least that's objective.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 18, 2016 8:16 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:*sigh* I am entirely aware. The point of the entire calorie thing was to point out that other "measurements" bandied about are currently subjective as shit, not good data.
Tyndmyr wrote:No. Just an equivalence to "this activity takes x calories". In whichever measurement system he prefers.
So, wait, I'm confused now - you are or are not aware that discussing how many calories a cognitive activity takes is NOT a relevant thing to discuss here?

And, again, I'm not sure what you're looking for - you asked for 'what tests could we use to ascertain differences between cognitive loads'. I provided you with said tests (and even explained to you what they measure, without even asking you to google it yourself). What are you unclear about?

Tyndmyr wrote:The "brain area of interest" thing is well, sketchy as hell. Same, same for EEG. Super subjective, not really anything like a proper caloric measurement.
Not really. We know a reasonable amount about neuroanatomy and using fMRI data can interpret how different cognitive loads rely on different parts of our neuroanatomy. Much better metric than blood glucose levels, which vary pretty significantly over short periods of time, especially when under stress of any kind.

Tyndmyr wrote:Human saccadic rate is pretty known. Saccade speed is due to magnitude of movement, doesn't really vary on anything else to any significant degree*. I sincerely doubt that you have any actual measurements demonstrating a relationship between cognitive load and how rapidly someone is refocusing their eyes.
I actually picked that because it came up on a google search for 'tests for cognitive load'. I'm not particularly familiar with the body of work, but here are some links that came up with a search for 'saccadic cognitive load'

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23660740
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26431484
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25138910
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24438491
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23319041

I have no idea if those articles are suggesting it's a great indicator or not.

Tyndmyr wrote:Cortisol levels are mostly talked about in regards to a daily cycle, and kind of keep to that cycle even if your particular habit is varied then. Interesting for many things, but probably a really shitty way of measuring concentration in reading vs watching television. Overall stress level, sure. That's not *exactly* the same as concentration.
Not at all - cortisol levels are a good indicator of instantaneous stress response. The point is that 'increased cognitive load increases stress', and we're trying to compare stress between 'reading a book' and 'watching a show', as you brought up earlier.

Tyndmyr wrote:Again, you are listing "ways in which something could be, I dunno, theoretically measured, I guess". You don't actually have any measurements to demonstrate cognitive load.
Yes, indeed, that's exactly what I said. That these tests could be a good measure of cognitive load by proxy. And indeed, they are a BETTER measure of cognitive load than blood glucose. I also find it funny that you quoted that as though it was something I said, instead of being something you said.

Tyndmyr wrote:*Discounting microsaccades which are pretty constant.
Except they are not. Evidently not remotely even.

Tyndmyr wrote:I mean, all these claims about what constitutes an "active" task or requires more concentration is otherwise based on not a scrap of data, yes? So hey, why not use calories burned? At least that's objective.
Ok, we are back to square one -

That's a bad proxy because it is not constant between different cognitive loads. The only evidence that there are more 'calories burned' under high cognitive load is that subjects who took difficult cognitive tests ate more food after, which the researchers suggested may have been a response to stress, NOT a response to lowered glucose from burning more energy.

I want to repeat this point to you, because I'm not certain you're understanding it - there is NOT solid evidence that 'high cognitive load' results in 'lowered glucose'. You don't 'burn more glucose' when you 'think harder'.

EDIT: Hey, curious point - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_load doesn't have the words 'glucose' or 'ATP' in it.
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby morriswalters » Wed May 18, 2016 9:06 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:To repeat, the brain does not operate via 'fixed bandwidth per input stream and/or cognitive process and/or output stream'.
If you sez so. However this publication appears to differ with you since it is attempting to measure it I believe. The title is
Bandwidth measurement technique for spatial frequency channels in human visual system
Of course they may as ignorant as me.

You apparently mean something different than what I do when I use the phrase cognitive loading. My son who has Downs, bogs down rather quicker with cognitive tasks since he has poorer equipment, so to speak. What that effectively means to me is that he runs out of resources quicker since he has fewer to begin with, so heavy cognitive loading for him is different than a heavy cognitive loading for me. That is to say that it takes more cognitive effort on his part to produce a result inferior to mine given a task like reading or writing.

As such he can't write the word Pepsi even though he can say it, but can point one out in an ad and differentiate as compared to say, Coke. I have always assumed that the picture requires requires less cognitive resources than the written word.

He manages to enjoy movies. Particularly his favorite movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He asks for it verbally if I offer him a choice. I much enjoyed when I read it, but he can't. How would reconcile that observation with your experience? Is your consumption of that media superior to his?

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed May 18, 2016 10:21 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:If you sez so. However this publication appears to differ with you since it is attempting to measure it I believe. The title is
And can you tell me where exactly it says that they have measured the bandwidth of all inputs, or rather, the total input load? I'm not sure what you think they're measuring, but they aren't measuring 'number of stories conveyed per unit of time via visual information', but rather, 'the human eye and its capacity to distinguish between frequency of light pulses'.

It's measuring at what point flickering light is no longer visible as 'flickering'. They are NOT measuring 'how much visual vs auditory information can someone perceive'.

morriswalters wrote:You apparently mean something different than what I do when I use the phrase cognitive loading. My son who has Downs, bogs down rather quicker with cognitive tasks since he has poorer equipment, so to speak. What that effectively means to me is that he runs out of resources quicker since he has fewer to begin with, so heavy cognitive loading for him is different than a heavy cognitive loading for me. That is to say that it takes more cognitive effort on his part to produce a result inferior to mine given a task like reading or writing.
Indeed - due to your sons different 'equipment', so to speak, his capacity to filter out information and process that information is impeded. Different things place greater (or lesser) cognitive loads on him. You are right that what you may find easy, he may not, and that's an important point - it may be easy for me to dissect a Drosophila larvae, and I could do so while listening to a podcast or talking to someone, but it is probably much harder for you to do so.

This is in part because 'more experience' can result in the same activity having a lower cognitive load. 'Cognitive load' appears to be a somewhat undefined term that just means 'how much does the subject have to concentrate on the task at hand' or 'how difficult is the task at hand'. The point being that something with 'higher cognitive load' doesn't require more glucose to get through as a function of 'more brain activity', but it can cause stress.

morriswalters wrote:He manages to enjoy movies. Particularly his favorite movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He asks for it verbally if I offer him a choice. I much enjoyed when I read it, but he can't. How would reconcile that observation with your experience? Is your consumption of that media superior to his?
I'm actually entirely unsure what you're even saying here. How would I reconcile the fact that your son enjoys a movie and asks for it, and you enjoyed the book but he couldn't?

I'm not sure what you think there is to reconcile with those statements?
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 19, 2016 1:22 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:It's measuring at what point flickering light is no longer visible as 'flickering'. They are NOT measuring 'how much visual vs auditory information can someone perceive'.
I actually think they are attempting to measure how the system separates the incoming visual data to recognize objects, or something close to that.

Izawwlgood wrote:but they aren't measuring 'number of stories conveyed per unit of time via visual information
No, because they didn't have to, it's measurable directly.
Izawwlgood wrote:To repeat, the brain does not operate via 'fixed bandwidth per input stream and/or cognitive process and/or output stream'.
Horse cookies. You evolved to see and hear as much of the real world as you can at a fixed rate. You can't change the rate at which you see things or hear things. If you exceed those limits or move completely outside them you are effectively blind. The only true output stream is speech and it has limits as well.

I started from this more or less and I'll end with it.
morriswalters wrote:And I never said differently. I simply said reading took more effort.
And I still stand with it.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu May 19, 2016 2:29 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:I actually think they are attempting to measure how the system separates the incoming visual data to recognize objects, or something close to that.
Based on a perusal of the paper, I don't think that's what they're doing at all. They're measuring at what frequency flickering are people no longer able to ascertain flickering.

morriswalters wrote:No, because they didn't have to, it's measurable directly.
By 'it's' you mean 'flickering rate'. Not 'story information'.

morriswalters wrote:Horse cookies. You evolved to see and hear as much of the real world as you can at a fixed rate. You can't change the rate at which you see things or hear things. If you exceed those limits or move completely outside them you are effectively blind. The only true output stream is speech and it has limits as well. I started from this more or less and I'll end with it.
What? I think we're talking WAY past one another at this point.

You can see things based on the way your eyes work. You cannot see infrared, nor ultraviolet. You cannot perceive things moving faster than a certain speed because of the way your eyes process 'frame rates'. This is true of your auditory capacities as well, with respect to frequency and 'rate of verbal information'.

This is all somewhat besides the point - when discussing 'cognitive load', my point was that 'reading a book' or 'doing a sudoku' or 'driving' or 'dissecting a larvae' or whatever are all activities that require some 'cognitive load', that is, some 'brain power' or 'thinking'. If you combine these activities, you are putting more cognitive load, which is why I said it's hard to, say, listen to a book on tape and drive simultaneously. You seemed to proffer that example as proof that listening to a book on tape was easier to do than reading a book, because it was something you could zone out to.

morriswalters wrote:And I never said differently. I simply said reading took more effort.
k. Shrug. Not sure what else to tell you then other than 'it's not that simple'.

Unless by 'effort' you mean 'holding an object that you occasionally interact with', then, sure, I guess. I think driving probably requires approximately as much effort if that's the metric we're going by, but now I suppose we're comparing physical activities. So, I guess we're back to playing videogames as a rather identical approximate.
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 19, 2016 3:14 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:By 'it's' you mean 'flickering rate'. Not 'story information'.
No, I meant story information. How many stories over how much time. The flickering is some kind of gate effect. I can't see behind the paywall but other articles which mention the same effect talk about using it as some kind of filter. SFC stands for Spatial Frequency Channels.
Izawwlgood wrote:some 'cognitive load', that is, some 'brain power' or 'thinking'.
Maybe.
Izawwlgood wrote:Unless by 'effort' you mean 'holding an object that you occasionally interact with', then, sure, I guess.
No, I meant what I said. It takes effort to read. Some texts take more than others. I've already linked to an idea called, if I remember correctly, extraneous cognitive loading. Essentially the inference is that for visual tasks images are more efficient than text. It is some kind of learning theory. We will end disagreeing. Thanks for your time.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu May 19, 2016 3:20 am UTC

At the risk of sounding pedantic, can you tell me in your own words what you think SFC is measuring? I don't think we're having the same conversation, which is why I think you defining the term may help.

morriswalters wrote:No, I meant what I said. It takes effort to read. Some texts take more than others. I've already linked to an idea called, if I remember correctly, extraneous cognitive loading. Essentially the inference is that for visual tasks images are more efficient than text. It is some kind of learning theory. We will end disagreeing. Thanks for your time.
But just earlier you were talking about how reading has very low bandwidth. Again, do you not see how your view is somewhat contradictory, and more to the point, how like PAstrychef and myself have been saying, 'cognitive load' is not dependent upon the media in which it is conveyed?

But if you're done with this discussion, that's fine too. Peace.
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu May 19, 2016 2:53 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:*sigh* I am entirely aware. The point of the entire calorie thing was to point out that other "measurements" bandied about are currently subjective as shit, not good data.
Tyndmyr wrote:No. Just an equivalence to "this activity takes x calories". In whichever measurement system he prefers.
So, wait, I'm confused now - you are or are not aware that discussing how many calories a cognitive activity takes is NOT a relevant thing to discuss here?

And, again, I'm not sure what you're looking for - you asked for 'what tests could we use to ascertain differences between cognitive loads'. I provided you with said tests (and even explained to you what they measure, without even asking you to google it yourself). What are you unclear about?


A measurement consists of a number, and a unit.

Five pounds. 4 mph. Whatever.

The point is, if you're making claims about activities, but cannot actually differentiate them...then you're still back in "unfounded opinions" territory, which appears to be the thing you were claiming about everyone else.

Tyndmyr wrote:The "brain area of interest" thing is well, sketchy as hell. Same, same for EEG. Super subjective, not really anything like a proper caloric measurement.
Not really. We know a reasonable amount about neuroanatomy and using fMRI data can interpret how different cognitive loads rely on different parts of our neuroanatomy. Much better metric than blood glucose levels, which vary pretty significantly over short periods of time, especially when under stress of any kind.


There's a *lot* of individual variance. When you have to use words like "interpret", yeah, you're deep into subjective territory.

Tyndmyr wrote:Human saccadic rate is pretty known. Saccade speed is due to magnitude of movement, doesn't really vary on anything else to any significant degree*. I sincerely doubt that you have any actual measurements demonstrating a relationship between cognitive load and how rapidly someone is refocusing their eyes.
I actually picked that because it came up on a google search for 'tests for cognitive load'. I'm not particularly familiar with the body of work, but here are some links that came up with a search for 'saccadic cognitive load'

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23660740
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26431484
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25138910
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24438491
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23319041

I have no idea if those articles are suggesting it's a great indicator or not.


#1 looks to be about multitasking. Interesting, not really the same thing.
#2 is a maybe relevant thing. It may or may not apply to other processes. "attention demanding" in terms of a perception task may or may not track to other types of activities.
#3 Interesting data about how people navigate spatially. Not really relevant here.
#4 is most likely relevant. Arithmetic tasks probably are a decent example of what people mean when they describe thinking about something. However, they clearly point out that literally nobody else has studied this. Unless they're mistaken, that means probably nobody has studied TV vs book reading via saccades. Other possible complications exist with the study as well
#5

Tyndmyr wrote:Cortisol levels are mostly talked about in regards to a daily cycle, and kind of keep to that cycle even if your particular habit is varied then. Interesting for many things, but probably a really shitty way of measuring concentration in reading vs watching television. Overall stress level, sure. That's not *exactly* the same as concentration.
Not at all - cortisol levels are a good indicator of instantaneous stress response. The point is that 'increased cognitive load increases stress', and we're trying to compare stress between 'reading a book' and 'watching a show', as you brought up earlier.


Again, stress and concentration are not exactly the same thing. Just because someone is paying attention doesn't mean they're stressed out, or vice versa.

And for short term, usually blood pressure, muscle reaction, breathing patterns are measured. Cortisol is good for a somewhat longer term monitoring, and thus, shows up a lot for lifestyle stress problems. Not quite the same thing, though.

Tyndmyr wrote:*Discounting microsaccades which are pretty constant.
Except they are not. Evidently not remotely even.


There's a variation based on visibility of what you're trying to focus on, but that's reasonably unimportant for this. And they do happen nigh-constantly regardless.

You see more variation in saccades overall than in microsaccades, so I qualified my statement to focus on the more relevant portion.

Tyndmyr wrote:I mean, all these claims about what constitutes an "active" task or requires more concentration is otherwise based on not a scrap of data, yes? So hey, why not use calories burned? At least that's objective.
Ok, we are back to square one -

That's a bad proxy because it is not constant between different cognitive loads. The only evidence that there are more 'calories burned' under high cognitive load is that subjects who took difficult cognitive tests ate more food after, which the researchers suggested may have been a response to stress, NOT a response to lowered glucose from burning more energy.

I want to repeat this point to you, because I'm not certain you're understanding it - there is NOT solid evidence that 'high cognitive load' results in 'lowered glucose'. You don't 'burn more glucose' when you 'think harder'.

EDIT: Hey, curious point - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_load doesn't have the words 'glucose' or 'ATP' in it.


Doesn't have that other stuff, either.

It *does* have pupillary response, though, which is apparently standard for measuring this?

Apparently just measuring dilation is better than all the rest of that. That gives us something reasonably standardized and objective. So, figure out if TV or reading makes your pupils dilate more, and we can put this whole thing to bed.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu May 19, 2016 3:50 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:A measurement consists of a number, and a unit.
I'm not sure you're aware of this, and I mean no disrespect, but firstly, those measurements do indeed consist of numbers/units, and secondly, many things in the life sciences are based on comparisons to other things. It's useless to tell you the resting heart rate of a mouse is 120 if you don't have any other animals to compare that to. So, no, there isn't a standard unit of cognitive load, akin to say, heart rate, but what we do have are a number of quantitative tests that can be used to compare biometric data between subjects under 'no cognitive load' and subjects 'under cognitive load'.

By doing this, we can actually factually differentiate what constitutes say, no, light, or heavy cognitive loads, and can most certainly make statements based on biometric data about 'how things work'.

Tyndmyr wrote:There's a *lot* of individual variance. When you have to use words like "interpret", yeah, you're deep into subjective territory.
Not necessarily - is a cardiologist 'interpreting' an EKG in 'deep subjective territory'? My point about individual variance with GLUCOSE LEVELS was to indicate that claims like the one you made pertaining to glucose consumption under cognitive load are highly variable, meaning 'some subjects see no change from baseline while under high cognitive load and some subjects see a drastic reduction, while other subjects see an increase'. This indicates that your claim that glucose consumption is proportional to cognitive load is spurious.

Tyndmyr wrote:#1 looks to be about multitasking. Interesting, not really the same thing.
It most certainly is related - multitasking is representative of high cognitive load. Namely, our capacity to do a thing represents x load, our capacity to do another thing represents y load, and x+y > x or y.
#2 is a maybe relevant thing. It may or may not apply to other processes. "attention demanding" in terms of a perception task may or may not track to other types of activities.
Yes, 'attention demanding' is 'cognitive load'.
#3 Interesting data about how people navigate spatially. Not really relevant here.
Capacity to navigate a space is a cognitive load. Have you ever, for example, while driving, turned down your radio whilst looking for an address?
#4 is most likely relevant. Arithmetic tasks probably are a decent example of what people mean when they describe thinking about something. However, they clearly point out that literally nobody else has studied this. Unless they're mistaken, that means probably nobody has studied TV vs book reading via saccades. Other possible complications exist with the study as well
Arithmetic tasks are one type of cognitive load. They are by no means the only type. I also linked you other examples of saccades being a metric of cognitive load, so I'm not sure what you're talking about here.
Again, stress and concentration are not exactly the same thing. Just because someone is paying attention doesn't mean they're stressed out, or vice versa.
I did not claim they were - it has been pointed out that increasing cognitive load increases stress. Though, to be fair, I think you may have the wrong impression of 'stress'. 'Stress' does not only mean 'dire awful nail biting terribleness', it can also mean 'a little tired and kind of hungry'. Cortisol is a very good metric for stress.
And for short term, usually blood pressure, muscle reaction, breathing patterns are measured. Cortisol is good for a somewhat longer term monitoring, and thus, shows up a lot for lifestyle stress problems. Not quite the same thing, though.
You actually have that fairly backwards - blood pressure for example has been shown to vary quite dramatically within even 5 minutes of recording. Cortisol isn't good perhaps for minute to minute comparisons, but varies quite widely over the course of even an hour of so, so is good for short term analysis.
There's a variation based on visibility of what you're trying to focus on, but that's reasonably unimportant for this. And they do happen nigh-constantly regardless. You see more variation in saccades overall than in microsaccades, so I qualified my statement to focus on the more relevant portion.
Can you peruse the wiki on saccades, or the wiki on 'cognitive load' perhaps to get an idea of why saccades are a good measure here?
Doesn't have that other stuff, either. It *does* have pupillary response, though, which is apparently standard for measuring this? Apparently just measuring dilation is better than all the rest of that. That gives us something reasonably standardized and objective. So, figure out if TV or reading makes your pupils dilate more, and we can put this whole thing to bed.
We were just earlier talking about papers that measured other stuff. I was going to link individual papers, but I think this reveals more;
Search for 'fMRI cognitive load'
Search for 'saccade cognitive load'

I mean, yes, pupillary response is another thing you can use to measure cognitive load. I'm glad you found another example of a test that could be used!
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu May 19, 2016 4:51 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:A measurement consists of a number, and a unit.
I'm not sure you're aware of this, and I mean no disrespect, but firstly, those measurements do indeed consist of numbers/units, and secondly, many things in the life sciences are based on comparisons to other things. It's useless to tell you the resting heart rate of a mouse is 120 if you don't have any other animals to compare that to. So, no, there isn't a standard unit of cognitive load, akin to say, heart rate, but what we do have are a number of quantitative tests that can be used to compare biometric data between subjects under 'no cognitive load' and subjects 'under cognitive load'.

By doing this, we can actually factually differentiate what constitutes say, no, light, or heavy cognitive loads, and can most certainly make statements based on biometric data about 'how things work'.


We could.

But I note that, prior to my discussion of this, people were simply asserting that a given task represented a greater cognitive load. And disagreement existed as to which is which.

So, why argue about something you can measure?

Tyndmyr wrote:There's a *lot* of individual variance. When you have to use words like "interpret", yeah, you're deep into subjective territory.
Not necessarily - is a cardiologist 'interpreting' an EKG in 'deep subjective territory'? My point about individual variance with GLUCOSE LEVELS was to indicate that claims like the one you made pertaining to glucose consumption under cognitive load are highly variable, meaning 'some subjects see no change from baseline while under high cognitive load and some subjects see a drastic reduction, while other subjects see an increase'. This indicates that your claim that glucose consumption is proportional to cognitive load is spurious.


I'm not stuck on glucose being the best form of measurement. I've said this repeatedly. I merely observe that measurements such as caloric expenditure are fairly commonly measured, and are reasonably accurate in a way that people mostly seemed to be studiously avoiding.

Again, stress and concentration are not exactly the same thing. Just because someone is paying attention doesn't mean they're stressed out, or vice versa.
I did not claim they were - it has been pointed out that increasing cognitive load increases stress. Though, to be fair, I think you may have the wrong impression of 'stress'. 'Stress' does not only mean 'dire awful nail biting terribleness', it can also mean 'a little tired and kind of hungry'. Cortisol is a very good metric for stress.


I am aware of what stress is. We are not measuring stress. We are interested in measuring cognitive load*.

You are, at best, measuring a potential proxy, with a GREAT many complicating factors, some of which are far larger than what you're trying to measure.

Can you peruse the wiki on saccades, or the wiki on 'cognitive load' perhaps to get an idea of why saccades are a good measure here?


No, I'm not interested in doing the research to prove your point for you.

I mean, yes, pupillary response is another thing you can use to measure cognitive load. I'm glad you found another example of a test that could be used!


Christ, I'm not even sure what you're arguing for at this point. Or what you think I'm arguing for.

If you believe that I don't think stuff can be measured, you have utterly missed the point of everything I've been saying.

*If this is indeed the agreed upon definition of "it takes more effort to do activity x". The point of mentioning caloric expenditure is that this is an entirely normal and expected definition of measuring the effort to do an activity. I obviously don't think it's the one YOU mean, but it's also patently obvious that using imprecise terminology means you probably are not talking about the same things, exactly, as the people you are talking to.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu May 19, 2016 5:15 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:So, why argue about something you can measure?
I don't know - why are you arguing about whether or not the tests I provided, which have been used in various studies on cognitive load, are legitimate tests to use?

Tyndmyr wrote:I'm not stuck on glucose being the best form of measurement. I've said this repeatedly. I merely observe that measurements such as caloric expenditure are fairly commonly measured, and are reasonably accurate in a way that people mostly seemed to be studiously avoiding.
...

Because 'accuracy' isn't the issue? Honestly, I'm not sure at all what you're getting at here - caloric expenditure is not consistent under different cognitive loads. Period. End statement. It is not a useful metric for determining cognitive load, and it is not correlated with cognitive load.

Tyndmyr wrote:I am aware of what stress is. We are not measuring stress. We are interested in measuring cognitive load*. You are, at best, measuring a potential proxy, with a GREAT many complicating factors, some of which are far larger than what you're trying to measure.
Huh? Literally every one of the tests I outlined have strong responses to stress. One of those tests, cortisol, is actually the industry standard for measuring stress.

But yes, I did mention that some of these tests are proxies for cognitive load. And that numerous studies have been conducted using them as such.

Can you expand on what you think the 'great many complicating factors' are?

Tyndmyr wrote:No, I'm not interested in doing the research to prove your point for you.
Curious - you were demanding I repeat research I already linked to as an attempt to refute the point I was making, so, that's kind of hypocritical of you.

Tyndmyr wrote:If you believe that I don't think stuff can be measured, you have utterly missed the point of everything I've been saying.
Considering a post ago you were demanding I explain what these tests measure and whether they have units, yes, I suppose at this point in the conversation I have almost no idea what it is you're arguing or trying to say.

Tyndmyr wrote:*If this is indeed the agreed upon definition of "it takes more effort to do activity x". The point of mentioning caloric expenditure is that this is an entirely normal and expected definition of measuring the effort to do an activity. I obviously don't think it's the one YOU mean, but it's also patently obvious that using imprecise terminology means you probably are not talking about the same things, exactly, as the people you are talking to.
A physical activity. Not a mental/cognitive activity. Which is literally the point of this entire thread. But by all means, please point out where I've used imprecise terminology, or more to the point, where you have used precise terminology to correct me using imprecise terminology?
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 19, 2016 6:03 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:The point of mentioning caloric expenditure is that this is an entirely normal and expected definition of measuring the effort to do an activity. I obviously don't think it's the one YOU mean, but it's also patently obvious that using imprecise terminology means you probably are not talking about the same things, exactly, as the people you are talking to.
I doubt it could be measured that way, whatever it's called. In the way I was using it(probably inappropriately) I simply meant that a cognitive resource(the visual system) was consumed by reading. When you use the visual system to read you can do nothing else with it.

The example I used to attempt to clarify this was audio books versus paper books and driving. If you attempt to text on your phone while driving what you end up doing is neglecting one task at the expense of the other, because the only way you can read while driving is to not look at the road. With the obvious result.

However it is possible to listen to an audio book and enjoy it while driving. Because listening engages a different path to memory. A separate subsystem from the visual one. However if the driving task consumes to much attention, even what you get from from that second system suffers. You lose part of it. You hear it but apparently you haven't sufficient resources to process it. And even when listening, the audio book is still a distraction from the primary task even when that task isn't as demanding. My point about measurement is that you consume reality at all times while your awake. The load is fixed. The only question appears to be how the load is divided. So you wouldn't expect caloric loads to change. This is my conceptual picture.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu May 19, 2016 7:23 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:However it is possible to listen to an audio book and enjoy it while driving. Because listening engages a different path to memory. A separate subsystem from the visual one.
I'm not sure I would conclude it is possible because it uses two different 'paths'. It is just as possible that it is possible to do so because driving can represent a very low cognitive load, especially something like freeway driving, wherein you basically just maintain 'balance'. For example, I frequently walk while reading a novel, and find that I'm more than capable of doing so, but will admittedly occasionally end up, say, overshooting my destination.

I should probably stop doing that.

morriswalters wrote: My point about measurement is that you consume reality at all times while your awake. The load is fixed. The only question appears to be how the load is divided. So you wouldn't expect caloric loads to change. This is my conceptual picture.
I think this is likely fairly true, though cognitive load isn't fixed, and there's some wiggle with what an individual is capable of. Think about it - you can multitask for some things, and if you really focus, you can probably multitask for 'something harder', though this is probably stressful to do.

Walking down the street is a lower load than reading a book while listening to music and walking (I really have to stop doing that).
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby morriswalters » Thu May 19, 2016 9:17 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I'm not sure I would conclude it is possible because it uses two different 'paths'.
I hesitate to go over this again since it seems we can't agree. The most pointed way I can make this clear is that if your vision is destroyed you can still hear. Certainly they may share working memory in some fashion and vision can effect what you hear, but much speech recognition happens outside of the visual system.
Izawwlgood wrote: It is just as possible that it is possible to do so because driving can represent a very low cognitive load, especially something like freeway driving, wherein you basically just maintain 'balance'. For example, I frequently walk while reading a novel, and find that I'm more than capable of doing so, but will admittedly occasionally end up, say, overshooting my destination.
Consider a railroad which consist of one track between two points with no sidings. When any train is on that track the track is at capacity, it isn't available until the train has reached its destination. The train itself has the capacity to carry more or less cargo, but no matter how much much cargo it carries the capacity of the track is fixed at one train at a time. Whatever your eyes are capable of doing you can only look at one thing at a time. So you can either focus on the text or focus on the road, but you can't do both at once. All you can do is switch back and forth between the two. The limitation is not your ability to read or see what is happening on the road, the limitation is on the fact that you only have one set of eyes. So when you walk down the street you are switching between the book and the environment. When you overshoot your destination, what I believe has happened is that you have reduced the rate at which you view the world. You have moved from HD video to an old fashioned slide projector version of reality. Your destination showed up between the slides.
Izawwlgood wrote:I think this is likely fairly true, though cognitive load isn't fixed, and there's some wiggle with what an individual is capable of. Think about it - you can multitask for some things, and if you really focus, you can probably multitask for 'something harder', though this is probably stressful to do.
I misspoke. The cognitive load consists of the tasks you need to do. What is fixed is the rate at which you move through the world. Even though glucose doesn't directly impact the cognitive load it does impact your capacity. Starvation causes a decline in the resources available. And as you have fewer resources your ability to balance all you cognitive needs declines. And evidently practice makes perfect and reduces the load. And you can multitask. But capacity is capacity. If you use more of your capacity doing one task than another task will get less. Adding a task which you have practiced simply means that it uses less of the available capacity. Anyway this is the way I see it. It is almost certainly flawed.

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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu May 19, 2016 10:20 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Consider a railroad which consist of one track between two points with no sidings. When any train is on that track the track is at capacity, it isn't available until the train has reached its destination. The train itself has the capacity to carry more or less cargo, but no matter how much much cargo it carries the capacity of the track is fixed at one train at a time. Whatever your eyes are capable of doing you can only look at one thing at a time. So you can either focus on the text or focus on the road, but you can't do both at once. All you can do is switch back and forth between the two. The limitation is not your ability to read or see what is happening on the road, the limitation is on the fact that you only have one set of eyes. So when you walk down the street you are switching between the book and the environment. When you overshoot your destination, what I believe has happened is that you have reduced the rate at which you view the world. You have moved from HD video to an old fashioned slide projector version of reality. Your destination showed up between the slides.
Except peripheral vision is a thing. Vision isn't a singular point information that is conveyed, and indeed, we can interpret multiple streams of information visually, simultaneously.

My point about walking while reading is that the multitask is a cognitive load, as I am 'walking' and 'reading', and that doing so impairs my ability to do one or the other (or both!), such as my ability to be aware of my surroundings. This is similar to your example of driving and listening to a book on tape, and losing the ability to focus on the book on tape whilst having to pay closer attention to driving.

morriswalters wrote:I misspoke. The cognitive load consists of the tasks you need to do. What is fixed is the rate at which you move through the world. Even though glucose doesn't directly impact the cognitive load it does impact your capacity. Starvation causes a decline in the resources available. And as you have fewer resources your ability to balance all you cognitive needs declines. And evidently practice makes perfect and reduces the load. And you can multitask. But capacity is capacity. If you use more of your capacity doing one task than another task will get less. Adding a task which you have practiced simply means that it uses less of the available capacity. Anyway this is the way I see it. It is almost certainly flawed.
I think this is probably fairly accurate, though I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'fixed rate at which you move through the world'. I mean, yes, time is unidirectional, but experientially there's quite a wide variation of cognitive loads place on us, probably as granularly as minute-by-minute.
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Re: Differences in media consumption-library thread spin off

Postby morriswalters » Fri May 20, 2016 12:27 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:though I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'fixed rate at which you move through the world'
Events will happen in real time which have nothing to do with how you perceive it. The sun rising and setting for instance.


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