“Neuroergonomics: Towards Ubiquitous and Continuous Measurement of Brain Function during Everyday Life”
Assoc. Prof. Hasan Ayaz
University of Pennsylvania
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 25th, 5:00 pm
Zoom Meeting ID: 912 6646 5546 (Passcode: 896970)
Abstract: The understanding of the brain functioning and its utilization for real world applications is the next frontier. Existing studies with traditional neuroimaging approaches have accumulated overwhelming knowledge but are limited in scope, i.e. only in artificial lab settings and with simplified parametric tasks. As an interdisciplinary new field, neuroergonomics aims to fill this gap: Understanding the brain in the wild, its activity during unrestricted real-world tasks in everyday life contexts, and its relationship to action, behavior, body, and environment. Functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), a noninvasive brain monitoring technology that relies on optical techniques to detect changes of cortical hemodynamic responses to human perceptual, cognitive, and motor functioning, is an ideal candidate tool. Ultra-portable wearable and wireless fNIRS sensors are already breaking the limitations of traditional neuroimaging approaches that imposed limitations on experimental protocols, data collection settings and task conditions at the expense of ecological validity. This talk will discuss emerging trends for fNIRS applications, from aerospace to medicine, with diverse populations and towards clinical solutions. We will review recent studies, such as mental workload assessment of specialized operators performing standardized and complex cognitive tasks and development of expertise during practice of complex cognitive and visuomotor tasks (ranging from aircraft piloting and robot control). Various recent synergistic fNIRS applications for human-human and human-machine interaction, interpersonal neural synchronization and brain computer interfaces, highlight the potential use and are ushering the dawn of a new age in applied neuroscience and neuroengineering.
About the Speaker: Hasan Ayaz is an Associate Professor at Drexel University, School of Biomedical Engineering, Science & Health Systems, with adjunct affiliations the University of Pennsylvania and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and a core member of the Cognitive Neuroengineering and Quantitative Experimental Research Collaborative. He received his BSc. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering at Boğaziçi University and received Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering in 2010 from Drexel University. For more than 17 years, he worked on the development of miniaturized continuous wave near infrared spectroscopy systems focusing on neuroimaging. He has developed tools for monitoring brain that are now utilized routinely for clinical and field research in university, governmental and corporate labs. He also led the software development of the first optical-brain-monitoring medical device, Infrascanner, which is a portable-handheld instrument that utilizes near infrared to detect hematoma in head trauma patients. Dr. Ayaz’s research involves understanding the neural mechanisms related to human cognitive, and motor functioning with a focus on real-world contexts, mobile neuroimaging, and neuroengineering approaches for neuroergonomics applications. His research has been funded by federal agencies, corporate partners and foundations, and output 200+ publications.