Working memory: Preparing for the unknown

Nov 28, 2022

Working memory, also called short-term memory, was long theorised to have the core task of actively storing information over a short period of time. Nowadays, working memory is considered more complex, because processes such as information selection and the planning of future actions run in parallel. In a recent study, a group of researchers at Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors at TU Dortmund (IfADo) shed light on the prerequisites for the initiation of motor preparation processes in working memory. They come to the conclusion that the brain prepares options for action as early as possible to enable the best possible condition for the execution of an action.

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Matthias Jäger receives NIOSH Bullard-Sherwood Research-to-Practice Award

September 19, 2022

Many people know that heavy objects such as crates of drinks should be lifted close to the body “from the legs” and if possible not “from the back”. Especially in occupations that involve a lot of repetitive lifting and carrying, correct posture is particularly important to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. In this context, Matthias Jäger from the Leibniz Institute for Occupational Research at TU Dortmund University (IfADo) and seven international colleagues have revised an international standard and interpreted the load limits that can be derived from it with regard to the risk of disease. For updating this standard, they received the NIOSH Bullard-Sherwood Research-to-Practice Award.

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Work interruptions have a greater impact on older people

August 29, 2022

In everyday working life, people are often interrupted in their tasks. After the phone has rung, for example, it is difficult to concentrate on the original task again. The selection of working memory content is impaired after an interruption. Observations show that the performance deficit after such task interruptions is often bigger in older people. With the help of EEG evaluations, researchers from the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) have studied attentional selection during the resumption of primary tasks in younger and older persons in more detail.

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Call for Papers: Sabrina Sobieraj publishes Special Issue “Interventions to Reduce Stereotypes in STEM”

August 23, 2022

Women make up almost 50% of the workforce in the labor market. However, it is noteworthy that the labor force of women is not evenly distributed across all occupational groups. Certain professions and positions are still strongly gendered, especially STEM professions. The gender gap in STEM fields can already be observed in school, increasing at university and culminating during later careers. Moreover, structural factors and gender stereotypes are most significant reasons for the gender gap in STEM.

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AHFE 2022 Best Paper Award for Georgios Athanassiou

August 4, 2022

At the 13th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics and its Affiliated Conferences in New York, USA, Georgios Athanassiou from the Ergonomics Department won the Best Paper Award for the paper on “A micro-moment recommendation framework in industrial environments” together with Michail Maniadakis and Iraklis Varlamis. Micro-moments are behavioural points in time and indicate in real time the current state of the users in order to derive current and future needs and to send appropriate recommendations for corrective or preventive actions.

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Movement can help with the processing of visual information

July 27, 2022

Modern living and working environments are increasingly characterised by the simultaneous execution of locomotion and sensory – mostly visual – processing. Also, many job profiles require the simultaneous processing of visual information while walking. For example, a worker in warehouse logistics has to go to the right aisle to pick up a package, while visual information about the next order is already presented to him via data glasses. Researchers at the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environments and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) have studied the interaction of human locomotion with increasing movement complexity and visual processing in more detail using EEG recordings.

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How does the human brain adapt to the ever-increasing complexity of technical devices?

July 15, 2022

Each of us has at one time or another dealt with a question that concerns everyone. With “Ask Leibniz!” you can send us your question to science.

“How does the human brain adapt to the ever-increasing complexity of technical devices (example: corded telephone in the past and smartphone today)? At what stage of development (infant – child – adolescent – adult) does this happen?”

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Best Presentation Award for Nikita Rajendra Sharma, Jai Prakash Kushvah und Gerhard Rinkenauer

June 24, 2022

At the 16th International Conference on Traffic and Transportation Psychology in Montreal, Canada, Nikita Rajendra Sharma, Jai Prakash Kushvah and Gerhard Rinkenauer from the Ergonomics Department received the Best Presentation Award for their presentation “Assessing the Impact of Additional Information during Motor Preparation in Lane Change Task”. In it, the researchers deal with the effects of additional information during motor preparation for a lane change while driving a car.

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Hugo Geiger Award for Dr. Jessica Schwarz

March 30, 2022

Every year, the Free State of Bavaria and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft award the Hugo Geiger Prize to honour young scientists for outstanding doctoral achievements in the field of applied research. This year, the third place goes to Jessica Schwarz for her doctorate on the topic of “Multifactorial real-time diagnosis of the user state in adaptive human-machine interaction”. IfADo researcher Prof. Dr. Gerhard Rinkenauer supervised Jessica Schwarz’s doctorate.

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Daniel Schneider gives inaugural lecture at Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Jan 31, 2022

Since mid-January, Daniel Schneider, head of the Information Processing Group, has been authorised to teach neuropsychology at the RUB. In his habilitation thesis with the topic “Attentional control functions in perception and memory: EEG correlates of target selection and distractor inhibition re-define the (retroactive) focusing of attention”, he dealt with attention processes in perception and memory. In his inaugural lecture, Daniel Schneider spoke about working memory as a system for remembering the past and as a “premem