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Cognitive Workload Assessment During Complex Coordinated Motor Tasks in Real-world Environments
Start Date: 8/25/2020Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Date: 8/25/2020End Time: 12:00 PM
Event Description
BIOMED PhD Research Proposal

Title:
Cognitive Workload Assessment During Complex Coordinated Motor Tasks in Real-world Environments with Both Healthy and Clinical Populations

Speaker:
Shawn Joshi, MD/PhD Candidate
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
Drexel University

Advisor:
Hasan Ayaz, PhD
Associate Professor
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems
Drexel University
 
Details:
Neuroergonomic assessments of people with disabilities within real-world settings has been limited due to environmental and practical limitations. Furthermore, as many of the interventions for people with disabilities involve a physical or device intervention, neuroergonomic assessments of these capacity building augmentations is even more limited. Traditional neuroimaging devices are often impractical to use to understand complex coordinated motor tasks, particularly within clinical populations and within out-of-laboratory settings.
 
Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), as a wearable and portable neuroimaging technique, offers a unique opportunity to understand the cognitive workload of disability populations performing complex coordinated motor tasks out of the laboratory. Cognitive workload refers to the task demands on the limited processing capacity of the brain. Often when an individual’s processing capacity reaches its limit, performance breakdown and errors will occur. Among disability populations, performance errors can lead to injury and behavioral change. Assessing cognitive workload of people with disabilities in real world environments will aid in developing better rehabilitative assistive technologies and therapies to accomplish everyday tasks in the effort of improving autonomy and equality.

The central hypothesis of this proposal is that cognitive workload as measured from prefrontal cortex via fNIRS during complex coordinated motor tasks can be measured in real-world settings in both clinical and healthy participants and inform the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions. To achieve this, we first evaluate the extent of the impact of Developmental Coordination Disorder, a motor learning disability, using fNIRS during a novel physical task. Secondly, we then evaluate the impact of a physical therapy, and the effect of its withdrawal to investigate the differences between the healthy and clinical population to inform clinical procedure in future naïve motor learning. Lastly, we evaluate the impact of an assistive mobility device within more realistic settings, to gauge the effectiveness of an immediate augmentation amongst novice and experienced wheelchair users. The neuroergonomic approach within these three studies will enable improvements to design and evaluations of and use of future tools and systems for operators with disabilities.
Contact Information:
Name: Natalia Broz
Email: njb33@drexel.edu
Shawn Joshi
Location:
Remote
Audience:
  • Undergraduate Students
  • Graduate Students
  • Faculty
  • Staff

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