Understanding programming expertise: An empirical study of phasic brain wave changes

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Recent decades have seen a resurgence of interest in electroencephalography (EEG), as neuroscience develops new models of cognition and refines old ones, associating them with detectable indicators of brain activity. This article presents a more direct measure of programmer expertise, derived from noninvasive observation of the brain's electrical activity. This article provides a foundational approach for investigating the role of expertise in programming language comprehension, showing that this electrical activity in the brain can indicate (1) prior programming experience by class level (current state of progression through an undergraduate computer science program), and (2) self-reported experience levels. © 2015 ACM.


BCI; Brain-computer interface; Empirical studies; HCI; Human factors; Program comprehension

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