The effect of motivation and attention could play an important role in providing personalized learning services and improving learners toward smart education. These effects on brain activity could be quantified by EEG and open the path to analyze the efficiency of services during the learning process. Many studies reported the appearance of EEG alpha desynchronization during attention period resulting in better cognitive performance. Motivation was also found to be reflected in EEG. This study investigated the effect of intrinsic motivation on alpha desynchronization pattern in terms of the complexity of time series data.

To investigate the motivation effect on cognitive performance, we conducted the cognitive experiment with the visual cognitive attention task and collected EEG data. The research study has been reported in Entropy. The datasets collected from the experiment are given in this page.


Data Collection


Sixteen volunteered adult participants with mixed gender aged between 21 and 37. None of the subjects have prior visual perception or memory disorders.

Experimental Design:

The experiment used to acquire these data can be divided into two parts: cognitive experiment and recognition test. In the cognitive experiment, participants are presented with random unique visual stimuli which are indoor/outdoor scenes from SUN database. Each stimulus remained on the screen for 3 seconds after presented then changing to fixation screen. The fixation screen was shown for another 9 seconds. During this period, the participant was allowed to freely make their decision whether they would like to remember the scene or not. The response was made by clicking mouse buttons: the left one for the case where they want to remember the scene and the right one for the case where they do not want to remember it. There is no constraint in their decision; therefore, the number of responses in this cognitive experiment could be unequal. After the decision period, the screen then changed to another scene. This procedure can be presented in the following figure.


After 250 scenes were presented, the cognitive experiment ended. The participants rested for 10 minutes. The scene recognition test was then started. In the recognition test, 500 random scenes comprising of 250 scenes from the cognitive experiment and 250 new scenes were presented one by one. The participants answer whether they could recognize the scenes in the cognitive experiment or not.


The EEG equipment used to obtain data was Nihon Kohden Neurofax EEG-1100. AC Lines in this country work at 60 Hz.

Sampling Frequency:

EEG data were collected at 500 Hz sampling rate.

EEG Montage:

The data were recorded from 31 EEG electrodes recording at the location illustrated in the following figure.




Download dataset files ...

File Description:

All downloadable data from sixteen participants are in MATLAB dataset (.set and .fdt) format. The continuous EEG signal of each electrode in the files were already mapped to their correlated channels. The event locations which are correlated to the task were already included as “DC9” event type in the data. Each data is also coming with a separated xlsx file which contains the epoch type.


The continuous EEG signal could be separated into epochs by considering event location (DC9). Each event epoch consists of 2 or 3 triggers represented by "DC9" in event types.

First trigger signify the stimulus appeared on screen.

Second trigger signify the stimulus disappeared from screen.

Third trigger signify that participant is giving the respond*.

*If there is no trigger appeared within 9 seconds after second trigger, it signify that the participant do not given the respond to that stimulus.

Epoch Type Description:

The type of epoch represented by two digit numbers which correlated to motivation choice of participant and their recognition result afterward.

The first number represented the motivation choices of participant as

1 - Want to remember the stimulus

2 - Do not want to remember the stimulus

0 - Participant did not made the motivation choice in time

The second number represented the recognition result in recognition test for the presented stimulus in cognitive part as

1 - participant could remembered the stimulus

2 - participant could not remembered the stimulus

Ex. 11 represented the type where participants decided to remember the scene in the cognitive experiment and could later recognize it in the recognition test.


Contact person

Asst.Prof.Dr. Boonserm Kaewkamnerdpong


Copyright© 2014 Biological Engineering, KMUTT All Rights Reserved