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ICSE 2020
Wed 24 June - Thu 16 July 2020
Fri 10 Jul 2020 15:12 - 15:24 at Baekje - A22-Cognition Chair(s): Walid Maalej

Software engineering involves writing new code or editing existing code. Recent efforts have investigated the neural processes associated with reading and comprehending code—however, we lack a thorough understanding of the human cognitive processes underlying code writing. While prose reading and writing have been studied thoroughly, that same scrutiny has not been applied to code writing. In this paper, we leverage functional brain imaging to investigate neural representations of code writing in comparison to prose writing. We present the first human study in which participants wrote and edited code and prose while undergoing a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scan, making use of a full-sized fMRI-safe QWERTY keyboard.

We find that code writing and prose writing are significantly dissimilar neural tasks. While prose writing entails significant left hemisphere activity associated with language, code writing involves more activations of the right hemisphere, including regions associated with attention control, working memory, planning and spatial cognition. These findings are unlike existing work in which code and prose comprehension were studied. By contrast, we present the first evidence suggesting that code and prose \emph{writing} are quite dissimilar at the neural level.

Fri 10 Jul
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15:00 - 16:00: Paper Presentations - A22-Cognition at Baekje
Chair(s): Walid MaalejUniversity of Hamburg
icse-2020-papers15:00 - 15:12
Daniela GirardiUniversity of Bari, Nicole NovielliUniversity of Bari, Davide FucciBlekinge Institute of Technology, Filippo LanubileUniversity of Bari
DOI Pre-print
icse-2020-papers15:12 - 15:24
Ryan KruegerUniversity of Michigan, Yu HuangUniversity of Michigan, Xinyu LiuUniversity of Michigan, Tyler SantanderUniversity of California at Santa Barbara, Westley WeimerUniversity of Michigan, USA, Kevin LeachUniversity of Michigan
icse-2020-Software-Engineering-in-Practice15:24 - 15:36
Shrikanth N CNorth Carolina State University, Tim MenziesNorth Carolina State University
Pre-print Media Attached
icse-2020-papers15:36 - 15:48
Nischal ShresthaNorth Carolina State University, Colton BottaNorth Carolina State University, Titus BarikMicrosoft, Chris ParninNorth Carolina State University
icse-2020-New-Ideas-and-Emerging-Results15:48 - 15:54
Melissa WenUniversity of São Paulo, Leonardo Alexandre Ferreira LeiteUniversity of São Paulo, Fabio KonUniversity of São Paulo, Paulo MeirellesFederal University of São Paulo