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Neuroergonomics Research

Neuroergonomics can be defined as the study of brain and behavior at work. This interdisciplinary area of research and practice has come to the fore in recent years with the emergence of new noninvasive technologies for monitoring human brain function and the application of these methods to the study of human behavior in relation to technology and work.

Neuroergonomics combines two disciplines that are themselves interdisciplinary, neuroscience and ergonomics (or human factors). Neuroscience is the study of brain function. Ergonomics seeks to match technology to the capabilities and limitations of people so that they may work effectively and safely together. The goal of merging these two fields is to provide a means for using the startling discoveries of human brain and physiological functioning to inform the design of technologies in the workplace and at home. At the same time, neuroergonomics seeks to provide new training methodologies based on increased knowledge of human brain function to enhance human performance (or expand peoples capabilities) and optimize the fit between people and technology. To optimize the fit, neuroergonomics works from both directions--extending peoples capabilities for successful interaction with technology, as well as accommodating technology to people.

For a recent overview of the field, see the book by Parasuraman and Rizzo (Eds.) Neuroergonomics: The Brain at Work. Oxford University Press, 2007. See Books.

Our neuroergonomics research focuses on the use of measures of neural function for the assessment of attention and mental workload during multiple-task performance. We use Transcranial Doppler Sonography (TCD) and event-related brain potentials (ERPs.)  The goal of this work is to develop neural measures that can potentially be used for adaptive automation in complex task environments. Another research thrust is concerned with using molecular genetic methods to assess individual differences in attention and mental workload.

Current Funded Projects

Neuroergonomics of Attention, Action Recognition, and Action Performance Applied to Uninhabited Vehicles (Army Research Laboratory)

Recent Neuroergonomics Publications

Fedota, J., & Parasuraman, R. (2009). Neuroergonomics and human error. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, in press.

Parasuraman, R. (2009). Assaying individual differences in cognition with molecular genetics: Theory, empirical findings, and applications. Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science, in press.

Warm, J. S., Matthews, G., & Parasuraman, R. (2009). Cerebral hemodynamics and vigilance. Military Psychology, 21 (Suppl. 1), S75-S100.

Parasuraman, R., & Wilson, G. F. (2008). Putting the brain to work: Neuroergonomics past, present, and future. Human Factors, 50, 468-474.

Warm, J. S., Parasuraman, R., & Matthews, G. (2008). Vigilance requires hard mental work and is stressful. Human Factors, 50, 433-441.

Helton, W. S., Hollander, T. H.,Warm, J. S., Tripp, L. D., Parsons, K., Matthews, G., Dember, W. N., Parasuraman, R., & Hancock, P. A. (2007). The abbreviated vigilance task and cerebral hemodynamics. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 29, 545–552.

Kramer, A., & Parasuraman, R. (2007). Neuroergonomics—application of neuroscience to human factors. In J. Caccioppo, L. Tassinary, L., & G. Berntson, (Eds.) Handbook of Psychophysiology, 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Fu, R., & Parasuraman, R. (2007). Event-related brain potentials in neuroergonomics. In R. Parasuraman, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Neuroergonomics: The Brain at Work.  (pp. 32-50). New York: Oxford University Press.

Warm. J. S., & Parasuraman, R. (2007). Cerebral hemodynamics and vigilance. In R. Parasuraman & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Neuroergonomics: The Brain at Work. (pp. 146-158).  New York: Oxford University Press.

 

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