Prof. Dr. Edmund Wascher
In order to evaluate the integration of skills and deficiencies of human information processing in modern work environments,current technologies and forms of interaction need to be explored. Not only the way in which information is presented in an operating environment plays a role, but also how the user interacts on a specific interface and how the interface influences her/his mental state.
The overall concept in the Department of Ergonomics substantiates the evaluation of current and future human-technology interaction on a cognitive-scientific basis. In addition to the mitigation ofinfluences such as age, noise, fatigue, or stressin general, specific technical environments are also very closely examined. In the far-reaching opportunity to simulate a wide variety of workplaces (see Future lab), various projects attemptto examine cognitive factors influencing human-technology interaction in highly controlled environments and to evaluate them neuroscientifically.
Humaninformation processing is extremely susceptible to interference and can be affected by both internal and external factors, therebycausing failures. Such disruptions of information processing are considered a major accident risk in many areas of modern work. The IfADo especially focuses on the investigation ofhow monotony affects,for example,driving performance(with special consideration of older people). An attempt is made to further develop a physiologically plausible model of mental fatigue, thereby gaining a better understanding of thisphenomenon.
In addition to the evaluation of futureuser interfaces,a number of recent human-machine interfacesare systematically investigated with respect to ergonomics. These investigations will focusonsimulations-based on experimentalcognitive psychology- whichmimic worksituations as realisticallyas possible. Mobile measurement techniques allow us to takeneurophysiological methods to real workplaces in order to investigate behaviorand its underlying neurophysiologyin natural environments.