the mind machine – Show Notes


The mind machine podcast features me in conversation with other researchers talking: emerging technology, neurosciences, human factors and human-computer interaction.  When I upload these conversations, I’m always aware of the fact that some listeners might not know about my various guests and their research.  So, I’ve produced a couple of paragraphs to accompany each episode that contain more information about each person, their interests and some links to their published work.

Show notes for each episode will appear below with the latest episode at the top of the lists.

Episode Six: Dick de Waard

You can find Dick’s staff page at the University of Groningen here and this is his Google Scholar page.  Dick also have a page on ResearchGate.  As we discussed in the podcast, Dick has been an active member of the Executive for the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society (European Chapter) for a long time and here is their website.

During the podcast, we had a long discussion about Dick’s PhD work on driver mental workload, which remains a highly cited piece of work, here is a link to his thesis.  Dick published a number of papers on the effects of drugs on traffic behaviour, for example: oral THC, comparison of alcohol with ecstasy, effects of alcohol on cycling and this is the specific study on ecstasy that became a polydrug study that Dick described during our conversation.  He has also published a number of papers on using psychophysiology, especially cardiovascular measures, to capture driver mental workload, this 2010 paper provides an overview.  His work on cycling behaviour includes effects of mobile telephones on cycling, cycling infrastructure, effects of visual impairment, how cyclist use visual cues to read intentions of other road users and the use of optical illusions to influence lateral position for cyclists.

During our talk, Dick mentioned the importance of maintaining mobility for older members of the population and he has published a number of papers on this theme.  This 2019 paper compares driving behaviour for people with Alzheimer’s disease with controls and others with neurodegenerative conditions.  Dick has also written about the use of simulators to assess fitness to drive in this paper and adherence to instructions not to drive for those with cognitive impairment.

Episode Five: Klaus Gramann

Klaus runs the Berlin Mobile Brain-Body Imaging Laboratory at the Technical University of Berlin.  You can find him on ResearchGate and Google Scholar.  I also found this article that gives a nice overview of the work conducted in the lab and includes some images.

Klaus was the co-author of this 2009 paper that sets out the MoBI approach and here is paper on a similar theme from 2011, he also hosted the 3rd International Mobile Brain/Body Imaging Conference in Berlin in 2018 and you can access the proceedings here.  He also presented on this topic at the TEDx meeting in Berlin a few years ago and you can watched his presentation here.

With respect to his own work, he has extracted known ERPs from moving participants in this 2010 paper and here is a 2011 paper on studying EEG activity as coupled to gait, which we discussed in our conversation.  He has worked extensively on spatial navigation, such as this paper on spatial reference frames, this recent paper on connectivity networks and another recent study on The Invisible Maze Task (IMT).  At the end of our conversation, we talked his recent work on architectural affordances and you can read about this work here.

If you would like to know more about the technical aspects of EEG analyses that we discussed, such as ICA and source localisation, I’d recommend checking out the EEGLab software developed in MatLab by the Schwartz Centre for Computational Neuroscience.

Episode Four: Frederic Dehais

Fred is the head of neuroergonomics and humans factors at ISAE SUPAERO, here is a link to his institutional home page.  You can also find him on ResearchGate and Google Scholar.

Fred has been funded by AXA who made a couple of short films about his work on aviation psychology; this one concerns the decision-making process of pilots and this second one is a film of his presentation at the first neuroergonomics conference on preservation.

We discussed a couple of his papers, this one from 2014 was an investigation of using fNIRS and heart rate variability to identify periods of pilot overload.  This PLoS One paper describes an application of fNIRS in a real aircraft to assess workload in real-time.  Fred’s work on the role of attention in pilot error has led to the idea of preservation, which is described here, and this paper describes attentional blindness to auditory alarms.  He has also edited this volume on neuroergonomics based on papers presented at the first neuroergonomics conference.

Episode Three: Wendy Rogers

You can get a great overview of all Wendy’s published outputs via her page on Google Scholar, which is what I used to structure our conversation.  Wendy is currently lab director at the Human Factors and Ageing Laboratory at the University Of Illinois and you can get more information about her lab here.

One aspect of Wendy’s early work as a cognitive experimental psychologist focused on the interaction between skill and ageing, this 1991 paper from Journal of Experimental Psychology is a good example of this research.  This book chapter published in 2000 gives a broader overview of this work.  Wendy developed insights from her experimental work to explore how older people interacted with technology.  In the course of our conversation, I mentioned this early piece of research exploring users’ attitudes to usage of automatic teller machines and this paper describes how training and instructional design can support older users in this context.  Speaking of early work on technology and older users, we also briefly mentioned this study on strategies used by older adults to explore the Web as it was known back then.  This book, which Wendy co-authored, provides an overview of how understanding cognitive skills can be reconciled with design principles to design technology for older adults.  We also had a brief discussion about the design of warning information, this 2000 paper from Human Factors references that aspect of Wendy’s work.

Listening back to our conversation, the topic of technology acceptance came up a couple of times, this 2006 paper is a study of which factors influence the adoption of technology across the lifespan.  Wendy also talked about the international community of researchers devoted to Gerontechnology, here is a link to website for that group and another link to their official journal.  In recent years, Wendy has been investigating how older adults respond to support from robots.  Understanding the process by which humans relate to robots socially is very important and here are some examples of Wendy’s work in this field: this 2015 paper looks at user preferences for the faces of humanoid robots, her work on how the PARO robot is described in this 2017 journal paper and here with respect to emotional support.  We also spoke specifically about this recent work on the preferences of older adults for robot care providers.  I also wanted to mention this short paper describes what friendship may mean between a person and a robot, which we kind of got into at the end of conversation with reference to so-called “artificial intimacy.”

Episode Two: Alan Pope

For an overview of Alan’s published output, you can check out his page on Research Gate here.  During our conversation, we talk about a number of influences on Alan’s work, which includes early work on biofeedback (this 1982 review of the topic is one example) and Ross Ashby’s 1960 book Design For A Brain (full pdf download available here).  We also talked about the early days of mental workload assessment in aviation psychology, including his own 1982 paper on that topic and the excellent 1986 chapter on workload assessment methodology by O’Donnell & Eggemeier (full pdf available here).

We also talked about the concept of a symbionic cockpit that allowed the pilot to fly indefinitely and the sci-fi book that indirectly inspired this concept, that neither of us could remember during our conversation, was North Cape by Joe Poyer.  We discussed the development of the biocybernetic loop and particularly Alan’s work on designing EEG measures to be used in real-time, here is his original 1995 paper on that topic, this later paper used ERP to run the closed-loop system, and a summary can be found in this 2003 paper by his collaborators.  We also talked about his work integrating closed-loop control/neurofeedback into gaming system to treat ADHD children, this 2001 paper provides an overview of that work.

Episode One: Thorsten Zander

If you’d like to know more about Thorsten and his work, you can find his google scholar profile here.  Early in the conversation we talked about the influence of role-playing games and early imagination on later research, Thorsten mentioned two games in particular, Shadowrun and Battletech.  Thorsten also talked about his work integrating eye movements with BCI, this an older paper on that topic and a more recent one where a hands-free version of Tetris was created.

His best-known paper on passive BCI is here and this paper describes his approach to measuring mental workload.  His PNAS paper on neuroadaptive technology as a form of implicit cursor control is here

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