Many of us spend lots of time tapping out words on a keyboard. Now a team of M.I.T. researchers thinks that how we type might reveal hidden information about the state of our brains. They designed a study in which a computer could detect which subjects were alert and which were fatigued, just from their typing.
The researchers focused on how long any particular key was depressed. They designed a program to evaluate the keystrokes, and ignore the actual content being typed.
For the study, 14 volunteers, seven women and seven men, had to type a Wikipedia article when they were fully alert. Then they were woken up about 70 to 80 minutes after they’d fallen asleep, when they were in deep slumber. They then had to type out another article while still drowsy.