How does (neuro)science characterize "confusion" that occur to "healthy" persons when engaged on a particular mentally-intensive task?

I would exclude the case where we are rationally and with clear arguments deciding one out of many choices (but remain undecided due to lack of sufficient resource/information). My thinking is more towards the case where, for example, we are trying to understand a mathematical problem and its solution, or an abstract reasoning, but in the process get lost: even have no clear idea of what part is 'not understood', or where to start learning (the parts involved) so that we can understand the original problem.

I am aware that I am unable to make my question very clear, I am actually confused how to formulate my thoughts.


1 Answer 1


Here's an article I found that seems to attempt to address this question, using a kind of machine-learning approach involving "Long Short-Term Memory" (LSTM)-Recurrent Neural Networks (RNN), to classify EEG from participants who were watching either "easy" or "difficult" online lectures - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5620019/ .

It's not a complete account of their process, but the manuscript suggests that gamma-1 frequency bands in the frontal lobe (using a single EEG electrode) were the most valuable feature for distinguishing between trials in which participants were thrown into the middle of a challenging lecture, vs. trials in which participants were viewing the introductory background material at the beginning of the lecture. I'm interested in the same question as the one you proposed, so I hope to see more responses to your post!


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