Comparing Programming Language Comprehension between Novice and Expert Programmers Using EEG Analysis

Seolhwa Lee, Andrew Matteson, Danial Hooshyar, Songhyun Kim, Jaebum Jung, Gichun Nam, Heui Seok Lim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For programming language comprehension, high cognitive skills (e.g., reading, writing, working memory, etc.) and information processing are required. However, there are few papers that approach this from a neuroscientific perspective. In this paper, we examine program comprehension neuroscientifically and also observe the differences between novice and expert programmers. We designed an EEG (electroencephalogram) experiment and observed 18 participants during a series of program comprehension tasks. We found clear differences in program comprehension ability between novice and expert programmers. Experts exhibited higher brainwave activation than novices in electrodes F3 and P8. These results indicate that experts have outstanding program comprehension-Associated abilities such as digit encoding, coarse coding, short-Term memory, and subsequent memory effect. Our findings can serve as a foundation for future research in this pioneering field.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2016 IEEE 16th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering, BIBE 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages350-355
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781509038336
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 16
Event16th IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering, BIBE 2016 - Taichung, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: 2016 Oct 312016 Nov 2

Other

Other16th IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering, BIBE 2016
CountryTaiwan, Province of China
CityTaichung
Period16/10/3116/11/2

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Keywords

  • Electroencephalogram
  • Empirical study
  • Human factors
  • Neuroscientific
  • Program comprehension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics

Cite this

Lee, S., Matteson, A., Hooshyar, D., Kim, S., Jung, J., Nam, G., & Lim, H. S. (2016). Comparing Programming Language Comprehension between Novice and Expert Programmers Using EEG Analysis. In Proceedings - 2016 IEEE 16th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Bioengineering, BIBE 2016 (pp. 350-355). [7790010] Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1109/BIBE.2016.30