Bass: Faces as Ambient Displays: Assessing the attention demanding characteristics of facial expressions

Faces as Ambient Displays: Assessing the attention demanding characteristics of facial expressions

Thesis Proposal
3:00 pm, October 8, 2012, Room 419 Brackett Hall

Dr. Richard Pak (advisor)
Dr. Christopher Pagano (committee member), Dr. Leo Gugerty (committee member)

Ambient displays are used to provide information to users in a non-distracting manner. The purpose of this research is to examine the efficacy of facial expressions as a method of conveying information to users in an unobtrusive way. Facial expression recognition requires very little if any conscious attention from the user, which makes it an excellent candidate for the ambient presentation of information. Specifically, my goal is to quantify the amount of attention required to decode and recognize various facial expressions. This study will assess the attention-demanding characteristics of facial expressions using the dual-task experiment paradigm. The data from this study will be helpful in understanding whether users are able to utilize facial expressions to gain quick and concise quantitative information about a particular system or device. If facial expressions provide users with information in an essentially attention-free manner, then the use of emotion (conveyed in a facial expression) as an informative modality could be an integral part of future displays.

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