The goal of Aviation Cerebral Experimental Sciences (ACES) is to investigate human perceptual, motor, and cognitive processes under a very rich and ecologically valid set of conditions.
This is accomplished by utilizing flight simulation as an experimental paradigm in which a rich and engaging interactive environment is provided by presentation of visual, auditory, vestibular, and proprioceptive stimuli and recording of simultaneous control responses (via hands, feet, eye movement, brain-machine-interface, etc...). Underlying brain activity is recorded/manipulated using multiple methods (fMRI, MEG, EEG, NIRS, TDCS, TMS, GVS).
A key challenge to this research is the development of multimodal brain imaging techniques (e.g. VBMEG, Sparse Regression, Sparse Logistic Regression) to investigate continuous real world behavior in very rich and potentially unconstrained environments.
The objective of this research is to be able to conduct experiments in the laboratory that are directly applicable in field conditions. Through the use of multisensory and proprioceptive feedback (utilizing spatial audio and video displays as well as force-feedback) in conjunction with feedback of brain states monitoring such things as attention, readiness for learning, motivation, prediction of future intended movement, prediction of future performance, as well as alertness and fatigue, it is the goal of this research to facilitate learning, performance, situational awareness, and decision making to promote safety, efficiency, and enjoyment during complex tasks such as flight operations.The methods developed in this research are directly relevant to other neuroergonomic applications such as rehabilitation following stroke or injury as well as measuring alertness and performance in the elderly, especially individuals with dementia.