Electroencephalography (EEG) study of design activities has been drawing increasing attentions in design cognition research. The aim of this present paper is to identify EEG bands that are associated with design activities through principal component analysis (PCA). Based on the analysis of the data on 32 subjects collected from experiments conducted in the Design Lab at Concordia University, it was found that resting, problem solving and evaluation activities have relations to specific EEG bands. EEG powers of beta-2 (20–30Hz), gamma-1 (20–30Hz), and gamma-2 (30–40Hz) are mostly associated to the design activities whereas resting is mostly associated to alpha band (8–14Hz). In addition, there are differences in frequency above 20Hz between the resting before and after design activities. The work presented in this paper can be used to further quantify designer’s cognitive activities, which will ultimately improve the development of effective design tools and methods.

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