Neural correlates of satisfaction of an information need

Paisalnan, Sakrapee and Pollick, Frank and Moshfeghi, Yashar; Nicosia, Giuseppe and Giuffrida, Giovanni and Ojha, Varun and La Malfa, Emanuele and La Malfa, Gabriele and Pardalos, Panos and Di Fatta, Giuseppe and Umeton, Renato, eds. (2023) Neural correlates of satisfaction of an information need. In: Machine Learning, Optimization, and Data Science - 8th International Conference, LOD 2022, Revised Selected Papers. Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) . Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH, ITA, pp. 443-457. ISBN 9783031258909 (

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Knowing when a searcher’s information needs (IN) are satisfied is one of the ultimate goals in information retrieval. However, the psycho-physiological manifestation of the phenomenon remains unclear. In this study, we investigate brain manifestations of the moment when an IN is satisfied compared to when an IN is not satisfied. To achieve this, we used functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activity during an experimental task. The task was purposefully designed to simulate the information-seeking process and suit the fMRI experimental procedure. Twenty-nine participants engaged in an experimental task designed to represent a search process while being scanned. Our results indicated that both affective and cognitive processes are involved when an information need was being satisfied. These results are in distinction to when satisfaction was not obtained. These results provide insight into features of brain activity that can ultimately be developed to detect satisfaction in search systems with more portable brain imaging devices.