Drexel to host international neuroergonomics summit | The Triangle

Drexel to host international neuroergonomics summit

Drexel University will be hosting the International Neuroergonomics Conference June 27- 29 at the Bossone Center and Behrakis Grand Hall.

Neuroergonomics is a emerging field of study that focuses on how to deal with cognitive overload, which is when the brain has trouble processing too much information, especially during stressful situations. The goal is to figure out how to improve decision making under tough conditions such as driving a car, operating a plane, performing surgery or taking a test. If decision making can be improved then machinery can be made safer and the efficiency of everyday life can be greatly enhanced.

Drexel researchers and collaborators overseas and across the U.S. have used a headband that can be worn to monitor brain activity during various tasks. This technology, called functional near-infrared spectroscopy, has been used to study a variety of areas including neurorehabilitation, anesthesia monitoring, education and training, and cognitive aging.

A recently published Drexel study demonstrated its use on pilots during flight..

One of the conferences co-hosts, Hasan Ayaz, an associate research professor at Drexel’s School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems is excited about the potentials of neuroergonomics.

“Now that we know how to measure and analyze the brain at work, we have immense opportunities to both assess the cognitive states of human operators, and also improve technologies. … Neuroergonomics is a very young field, and already we see scientists around the world who are truly pushing the boundaries in many diverse areas of this research,” Ayaz told DrexelNow.

The topics of the conference will center around aviation, self-driving cars, virtual reality, marketing, disease therapies and more.

There will be 15 invited speakers from all over the world and over 150 presentations. The three keynote speakers are Michael Posner, Scott Makeig, and Danielle Bassett.

Posner is professor emeritus at the University of Oregon and an adjunct professor at Weill Cornell Medicine. He studies genetic and experiential factors that go into attention and learning. He is interested in how white matter changes in the brain might improve cognitive performance.

Makeig is a research scientist and director of the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience Institute for Neural Computation at the University of California San Diego. According to his page on the University of California San Diego website, his “primary research interest is in analysis and modeling of human cognitive event-related brain dynamics as captured by high-dimensional EEG, MEG and other imaging modalities including simultaneous eye tracking and body motion capture.”

Bassett is a associate professor of bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania. She specializes in developing tools using network science and complex systems theory to study biological, physical and social systems.

More information on the upcoming conference can be found at its website.

More information on the upcoming conference can be found at its website, http://www.neuroergonomicsconference.org/.