Cognitive Ergonomics

Principle investigator: Gerhard Rinkenauer

Staff: Magali Kreutzfeldt, Jai Prakash Kushvah, Thorsten PlewanJohanna Renker
Funds: Leistungszentrum Logistik und IT, Graduiertenkolleg DFG 1855 „Diskrete Optimierung technischer Systeme unter Unsicherheit“
Cooperation/Partners: Prof. Dr. Buchholz (TU Dortmund), Dr. Frank Weichert (TU Dortmund), Detlef Spee (Fraunhofer IML)

In the course of Industry 4.0 digitization of work places is proceeding. Accordingly, interactions between human, technical system and work environment are changing. In augmented reality, for instance, virtual information is presented within the real world and as such novel interactions between humans and technical systems arise. Based on this development, intelligent assistance systems can be integrated into work processes.

Cognitive Ergonomics constitutes an integral part of human-centered design of work places and thus may help to enhance work-performance. To this end, it focuses on performance and resilience of human information processing, including features like perception, attention, memory or decision making. In a more applied context, it also assesses planning and execution of movements while using technical systems. Optimized human performance improves efficacy and efficiency of human-machine-systems. Accordingly, humans should be considered as main factor when technical systems and work processes are designed.

Current research projects involve general psychological experiments as well as applied field studies. In particular topics such as depth perception, multisensory integration and motor control using smart devices and wearables are investigated. Furthermore, the applied research project “National Centre of Excellence for Logistics and IT” ( a focus on the analysis of work places in the intralogistics sector.

Current publications:

  • Kreutzfeldt, M., Renker, J., & Rinkenauer, G. (2018). The Attentional Perspective on Smart Devices: Empirical Evidence for Device-Specific Cognitive Ergonomics. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing series, Advances in Ergonomics in Design, in press.
  • Plewan, T., & Rinkenauer, G. (2017). Surprising depth cue captures attention in visual search. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 1-7.
  • Schlagkamp, S., Ferreira da Silva, R., Renker, J., & Rinkenauer, G. (2016). Analyzing users in parallel computing: A user-oriented study. In W. W. Smari & V. Zeljkovic (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on High Performance Computing & Simulation (HPCS 2016). July 18-22, 2016, Innsbruck, Austria (pp. 395–402). Piscataway, NJ: IEEE.
  • Rinkenauer, G., Böckenkamp, A., & Weichert, F. (2017). Man-Robot Collaboration in the Context of Industry 4.0: Approach-Avoidance Tendencies as an Indicator for the Affective Quality of Interaction?. In Advances in Ergonomic Design of Systems, Products and Processes(pp. 335-348). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.