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Neuroadaptive technologies: Applying neuroergonomics to the design of advanced interfaces

: Hettinger, L.J.; Branco, P.; Encarnacao, L.M.; Bonato, P.


Theoretical issues in ergonomics sciences 4 (2003), No.1-2, pp.220-237
ISSN: 1463-922X
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IGD ()
adaptive interface; neuroergonomic

This article describes an emerging approach to the design of human-machine systems referred to as "neuroadaptive interface technology". A neuroadaptive interface is an ensemble of computer-based displays and controls whose functional characteristics change in response to meaningful variations in the user's cognitive and/or emotional states. Variations in these states are indexed by corresponding central nervous system activity, which control functionally adaptive modifications to the interface. The purpose of these modifications is to promote safer and more effective human-machine system performance. While fully functional adaptive interfaces of this type do not currently exist, there are promising steps being taken toward their development, and great potential value in doing so - value that corresponds directly to and benefits from a neuroergonomic approach to systems development. Specifically, it is argued that the development of these systems will greatly enhance overall human-machine system performance by providing more symmetrical communications between users and computer-based systems than currently exist. Furthermore, their development will promote a greater understanding of the relationship between nervous system activity and human behaviour (specifically work-related behaviour), and as such may serve as an exemplary paradigm for neuroergonomics. A number of current research and development areas related to neuroadaptive interface design are discussed, and challenges associated with the development of this technology are described.