Recent findings on how interruptions affect working memory

Written by Bianca Zickerick

Phone calls, messages, or emails: At work, we are interrupted and distracted several times a day. This is especially challenging when working from home due to Covid-19. In a recent study, we focused on how such interferences affect the performance of working memory. We could show that it is particularly difficult to get back to the primary task after an interruption. This was not the case with non-relevant distractions.

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New DFG project: Audio-visual perception in virtual and real 3D environments

Written by Stephan Getzmann

Virtual realities (VR) open up completely new possibilities for psychological experiments compared to classical laboratory environments. However, it must be ensured that virtual environments represent reality as validly as possible. This will be investigated in a new research project at IfADo within the DFG priority program “Audictive”:  The focus is on spatial perception and attention in three-dimensional space.

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2nd German Summer School for Human Factors 2020

Written by Felix Dreger

This September young scientists gathered three days within the German Summer School for Human Factors to discuss their research. The summer school is an annual event that is initiated by the Section of Engineering Psychology of the German Psychological Association. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the summer school was hold virtually; this time organized by IfADo-scientists.

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Thorsten Plewan-Blombach appointed professor

Written by Eva Mühle

Thorsten Plewan-Blombach was appointed professor of psychology in the department of “Business & Media” at the Fresenius University of Applied Sciences at the end of July. Thorsten Plewan-Blombach has been working as a PostDoc in the IfADo research department “ergonomics” for eight years. He is investigating basic concepts of perception and attention as well as human-machine interaction with a focus on digital assistance systems in workplaces.

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PhD project: Mobile neuroergonomics

Written by Julian Elias Reiser

Most of us probably know the situation that we tried to navigate through a crowded space, let’s say a shopping street on a Saturday afternoon, and ended up forgetting some of our shopping list items, because we had to evade several obstacles in our way. This phenomenon is called cognitive-motor interference. It is due to the capacity limit of human cognitive resources that can be allocated to all the different processes our brain is calculating at any point in time. 

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New research laboratory: Work research at IfADo strikes out in a new direction

Written by Verena Kemmler

The IfADo research is on the move: with a Gait Real-Time Analysis Interactive Lab (GRAIL). In it, the gait movement of the entire body can be analyzed in three dimensions in a virtual environment. The laboratory enables researchers to analyze phenomena of human information processing while moving. “The GRAIL allows us new and realistic research approaches“, says Prof. Dr. Gerhard Rinkenauer.

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Special Issue: Current Perspectives on Neuroergonomics

Written by Edmund Wascher

The journal Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425; IF=2.786) is currently running a Special Issue entitled Current Perspectives on Neuroergonomics. We are serving as the Guest Editors for this issue.

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Gerhard Rinkenauer: Associate Professor

Written by Verena Kemmler

Gerhard Rinkenauer has recently been appointed “Associate Professor” at the Faculty of Education, Psychology and Sociology at the TU Dortmund University. At IfADo, he has been researching the interface between man and technology since 2005. Besides, he has been a lecturer at the TU Dortmund University in the Department of Psychology since 2008.

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How mind wandering is reflected in the brain

Written by Verena Kemmler

It doesn’t matter whether you are already thinking about the end of the day at work or are compiling a shopping list in your head while driving: Everybody wanders with the thoughts. But this can not only reduce your own performance. It can also be dangerous in high-risk work. IfADo psychologist Dr. Stefan Arnau investigated the phenomenon in a recent study in collaboration with researchers of the Heidelberg University. The measurement of alpha power in the brain is therefore a good indicator of thought aberrations. 

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