Neuroergonomics is the application of neuroscience theories and tools to ergonomics. Traditional ergonomics research relies heavily on the psychology of human factors to explain concepts such as human reliability, response time or behavior under stress. Neuroergonomics explains these same phenomena by resorting to biological explanations, based in particular on cerebral function.
Neuroergonomics aims at designing safer systems, ensuring greater efficiency of the operator / system pair, based on current and emerging knowledge in the field. It also allows a better understanding of executive functions and human performance in situations.
It mobilizes knowledge in two areas: neuroscience, through the study of cognitive and neural processes, and human factors that allow the adaptation of technologies to human capabilities and limitations so that the user can work safely and effectively. Neuroergonomics thus makes it possible to design products that are adapted to human cognitive functioning while improving the training process for future users.
This field of study is expanding rapidly, thanks to the emergence of non-invasive monitoring techniques to visualize human brain activity (eg functional magnetic resonance imaging). Numerous problems can be studied thanks to these new tools, such as workload, attention, working memory, motor control or the manipulation of interfaces. This interdisciplinary field can thus study the neuronal bases of perception or cognition, as well as contingent performances, in the use of an interface.
The fields of application of neuroergonomics are varied: aeronautics, driving, pharmacology, study of the use of a computer, a PDA or other objects with a particular interface in the personal or professional context, conception of embedded system interfaces (aircraft, train, car, boat).