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Neuroergonomics and Artificial Intelligence

D 5 April 2019    

The Neuroergonomics and Human Factors research group is part of the Department of Aerospace Vehicle Design and Control, at ISAE-SUPAERO, Toulouse, France. The group conducts studies on Human Factors applied to aviation safety and is currently composed of 5 research and teaching faculty members and 15 (post)-doctoral students, with interdisciplinary expertise in Neuroscience, Signal Processing, Machine Learning, Computer Science, and Human Factors. This growing team has become a key player in Human Factors for flight safety. It has developed collaborations with major aeronautical firms and airlines, and provides expertise for flight civilian aviation authorities. It is also directly supported by two major research programs funded by the AXA Research Fund and Dassault Aviation. The group has developed a strong scientific network with first-ranked European, North American and Asian universities in the field. It enjoys a wide range of research facilities such as motion flight simulators, real aircraft, and combines cutting-edge brain imaging techniques and other psychophysiological sensors.

The group’s work goes beyond the analysis of subjective feelings and human behavior, by investigating the neural correlates supporting human performance. Researchers in the group have a unique methodology “from basic research to ecological experiments”, ranging from controlled experiments performed in laboratory settings (e.g. with fMRI recordings) to studies conducted within simulators (i.e. flight and UAV monitoring simulators) and even in real flight conditions. Thanks to the diversity of platforms, they interrogate the neural bases of psychological phenomena at different levels of control or realism.

Preventing air crashes by adapting cockpit design and training to pilots’ brains, is one of the goals of research in neuroergonomics, a new field that aims to detect the mechanisms of human error. By measuring brain activity, neurosciences and artificial intelligence combined with ergonomics and human factors can improve air safety.

The main goal of the research conducted in the Neuroergonomics and Human Factors group at ISAE-SUPAERO is to uncover the neural mechanisms that underpin human performance and to identify the risk factors of human errors. This makes it possible to design new solutions to improve training and more efficient warning systems and leads to the implementation of real-time solutions to dynamically adapt the cockpit to the pilots’ state.