Dan Callan (Center for Information and Neural Networks (Japan))
A Neuroergonomics Approach to Human Performance in Aviation

Neuroergonomics is defined as the study of brain structure and function in relation to human cognition and behavior in real-world settings. Two primary goals of neuroergonomics are the following: 1. To determine the interactive neural processes underlying perception, motor control, cognition, and emotion occurring in the context of robust real-world situations. 2. To develop neural based technology that can be implemented in real-world situations to improve human performance. By understanding the underlying neural processes in the context of complex real-world tasks brain-computer-interfaces BCI can be used to control adaptive automation and give feedback to modulate brain activity and behavior to facilitate learning, situational awareness, and decision making to promote performance, safety efficiency, and wellbeing. Aviation operations constitute an ideal domain to implement this approach because of the diversity of tasks involved when operating aircrafts, as well as practical constraints with regards to body movement for various brain imaging modalities (fMRI, MEG). I will review several of our studies using multiple brain imaging and stimulation methods ranging on topics including: predicting landing performance (fMRI), speeding response time using BCI (MEG), modulation of resting state brain activity predicting performance enhancement by transcranial direct current stimulation tDCS (fMRI), and inattentional deafness under high workload to perception of alarms (fMRI, EEG in flight). It is maintained that this neuroergonomic approach to neuroscience will afford insight into underlying processes and provide a basis for developing technology that may not be possible using standard methodology that is far removed from real-world situations.