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Using neurophysiological signals that reflect cognitive or affective state

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889196135 Year: Pages: 314 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-613-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-08-16 10:34:25
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What can we learn from spontaneously occurring brain and other physiological signals about an individual’s cognitive and affective state and how can we make use of this information? One line of research that is actively involved with this question is Passive Brain-Computer-Interfaces (BCI). To date most BCIs are aimed at assisting patients for whom brain signals could form an alternative output channel as opposed to more common human output channels, like speech and moving the hands. However, brain signals (possibly in combination with other physiological signals) also form an output channel above and beyond the more usual ones: they can potentially provide continuous, online information about an individual’s cognitive and affective state without the need of conscious or effortful communication. The provided information could be used in a number of ways. Examples include monitoring cognitive workload through EEG and skin conductance for adaptive automation or using ERPs in response to errors to correct for a behavioral response. While Passive BCIs make use of online (neuro)physiological responses and close the interaction cycle between a user and a computer system, (neuro)physiological responses can also be used in an offline fashion. Examples of this include detecting amygdala responses for neuromarketing, and measuring EEG and pupil dilation as indicators of mental effort for optimizing information systems. The described field of applied (neuro)physiology can strongly benefit from high quality scientific studies that control for confounding factors and use proper comparison conditions. Another area of relevance is ethics, ranging from dubious product claims, acceptance of the technology by the general public, privacy of users, to possible effects that these kinds of applications may have on society as a whole. In this Research Topic we aimed to publish studies of the highest scientific quality that are directed towards applications that utilize spontaneously, effortlessly generated neurophysiological signals (brain and/or other physiological signals) reflecting cognitive or affective state. We especially welcomed studies that describe specific real world applications demonstrating a significant benefit compared to standard applications. We also invited original, new kinds of (proposed) applications in this area as well as comprehensive review articles that point out what is and what is not possible (according to scientific standards) in this field. Finally, we welcomed manuscripts on the ethical issues that are involved. Connected to the Research Topic was a workshop (held on June 6, during the Fifth International Brain-Computer Interface Meeting, June 3-7, 2013, Asilomar, California) that brought together a diverse group of people who were working in this field. We discussed the state of the art and formulated major challenges, as reflected in the first paper of the Research Topic.

Trends in Neuroergonomics: A Comprehensive Overview

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889452033 Year: Pages: 402 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-203-3 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Neurology --- Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-10-13 14:57:01
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This Research Topic is dedicated to Raja Parasuraman who unexpectedly passed on March 22nd 2015. Raja Parasuraman’s pioneering work led the emergence of Neuroergonomics as a new scientific field. He combined his research interests in the field of Neuroergonomics which he defined as the study of the human brain in relation to performance at work and everyday settings. Raja Parasuraman was a pioneer, a truly exceptional researcher and an extraordinary person. He made significant contributions to a number of disciplines, from human factors to cognitive neuroscience. His advice to young researchers was to be passionate in order to develop theory and knowledge that can guide the design of technologies and environments for people. His legacy, the field of Neuroergonomics, will live on in countless faculties and students whom he advised and inspired with unmatched humility throughout the whole of his distinguished career. Raja Parasuraman was an impressive human being, a very kind person, and an absolutely inspiring individual who will be remembered by everyone who had the chance to meet him. About this Research Topic Since the advent of neuroergonomics, significant progress has been made with respect to methodology and tools for the investigation of the brain and behavior at work. This is especially the case for neuroscientific methods where the availability of ambulatory hardware, wearable sensors and advanced data analyses allow for imaging of brain dynamics in humans in applied environments. Methods such as: electroencephalography (EEG), functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), and stimulation approaches like transcranial direct-currrent stimulation (tDCS) have made significant progress in both recording and altering brain activity while allowing full body movements outside laboratory environments. For neuroergonomics, the application of brain imaging in real-world scenarios is highly relevant. Traditionally, brain imaging experiments in human factors research tend to avoid active behavior for fear of artifacts and a contaminated data set that would provide limited insight into brain dynamics in real working environments. To overcome these problems new analyses approaches have to be developed that identify artifacts resulting from hostile recording environments and movement-related non-brain activity stemming from eye-, head, and full-body movements. The application of methodology from the field of Brain-Computer Interfacing (BCI) for neuroergonomics is one approach that has significant potential to enhance ambulatory monitoring and applied testing. Passive BCIs allow for assessing aspects of the user state online, such that systems can automatically adapt to their user. This neuroadaptive technology could lead to highly efficient working environments, to auto-adaptive experimental paradigms and to a continuous tracking of cognitive and affective aspects of the user state. Hence, deployment of portable neuroimaging technologies to real time settings could help assess cognitive and motivational states of personnel assigned to perform critical tasks. This Research Topic gathers submissions that cover new approaches in neuroergonomics. Different article type cover advanced neuroscience methods and neuroergonomics techniques as well as analysis approaches to investigate brain dynamics in working environments. The selection of papers provides insights into new neuroergonomic research approaches that demonstrate significant advances in brain imaging technologies that become more and more mobile, Moreover, a strong trend for new analyses approaches and paradigms investigating real work settings can be seen. Together, this unique collection of latest research papers provides a comprehensive overview on the latest developments in neuroergonomics.

Towards a New Cognitive Neuroscience: Modeling Natural Brain Dynamics

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889192717 Year: Pages: 166 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88919-271-7 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Science (General) --- Neurology
Added to DOAB on : 2015-12-03 13:02:24
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Decades of brain imaging experiments have revealed important insights into the architecture of the human brain and the detailed anatomic basis for the neural dynamics supporting human cognition. However, technical restrictions of traditional brain imaging approaches including functional magnetic resonance tomography (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and magnetoencephalography (MEG) severely limit participants' movements during experiments. As a consequence, our knowledge of the neural basis of human cognition is rooted in a dissociation of human cognition from what is arguably its foremost, and certainly its evolutionarily most determinant function, organizing our behavior so as to optimize its consequences in our complex, multi-scale, and ever-changing environment. The concept of natural cognition, therefore, should not be separated from our fundamental experience and role as embodied agents acting in a complex, partly unpredictable world. To gain new insights into the brain dynamics supporting natural cognition, we must overcome restrictions of traditional brain imaging technology. First, the sensors used must be lightweight and mobile to allow monitoring of brain activity during free participant movements. New hardware technology for electroencephalography (EEG) and near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) allows recording electrical and hemodynamic brain activity while participants are freely moving. New data-driven analysis approaches must allow separation of signals arriving at the sensors from the brain and from non-brain sources (neck muscles, eyes, heart, the electrical environment, etc.). Independent component analysis (ICA) and related blind source separation methods allow separation of brain activity from non-brain activity from data recorded during experimental paradigms that stimulate natural cognition. Imaging the precisely timed, distributed brain dynamics that support all forms of our motivated actions and interactions in both laboratory and real-world settings requires new modes of data capture and of data processing. Synchronously recording participants’ motor behavior, brain activity, and other physiology, as well as their physical environment and external events may be termed mobile brain/body imaging ('MoBI'). Joint multi-stream analysis of recorded MoBI data is a major conceptual, mathematical, and data processing challenge. This Research Topic is one result of the first international MoBI meeting in Delmenhorst Germany in September 2013. During an intense workshop researchers from all over the world presented their projects and discussed new technological developments and challenges of this new imaging approach. Several of the presentations are compiled in this Research Topic that we hope may inspire new research using the MoBI paradigm to investigate natural cognition by recording and analyzing the brain dynamics and behavior of participants performing a wide range of naturally motivated actions and interactions.

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