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Improvement of information processing through a working memory affine visual environment on the multi touch table

Working groupKnowledge Exchange Lab
Duration12/2014 - 03/2019
FundingBudget resources
Project description

While the processing capacity of the human brain frequently reaches its limits, technologies like tablets or smartphones can store and process more and more information. However, humans can now tap into these digital resources. This PhD project aims to use technologies to improve the human information processing capacity.

Decision making or problem solving are everyday cognitive challenges. These tasks take place in working memory (WM), whose limited capacity constrains the complexity of manageable problems or decisions. Group tasks are particularly demanding for WM.

Multi touch tables are well-suited for technology-assisted group work. The goal of this project therefore is to investigate if and how information processing can be improved in a group task by providing an interactive visual environment on a multi touch table. WM load can be reduced in interaction with a multi touch table, because user actions have a high affinity to WM processes.

In a series of studies with multi touch tables the effect of different manipulations on information processing and outcome quality was tested for various complex tasks in group and individual settings. Results will make it possible to tailor the interaction of humans with technology to their WM and thereby improve information processing and group outcomes.


Ann-Katrin Wesslein, Universität Tübingen


Bause, I. M., Brich, I. R., Wesslein, A. K., & Hesse, F. W. (2018). Using technological functions on a multi-touch table and their affordances to counteract biases and foster collaborative problem solving. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 13(1), 7-33.