New Center for Applied Brain and Cognitive Sciences

For additional information about the Center for Applied Brain Sciences and to apply for funding please visit the official website. Full proposal submissions due Friday, May 15, 2015.

Researchers from Tufts University and the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) are joining forces to advance our understanding of how people think, function, and interact in demanding environments. This new center represents a collaborative partnership in cognitive science research co-directed and co-managed by researchers from both institutions.

"We hope to increase understanding of how individuals and teams adapt and sustain performance in high-stakes environments," says Holly A. Taylor, a professor of psychology at Tufts School of Arts and Sciences, an adjunct professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and lead investigator from the Tufts team.

Matthias Scheutz, a professor of computer science at Tufts School of Engineering and co-principal investigator on the center grant, brings yet another dimension to the research when attempting to understand how people interact not only with each other in teams, but with potential robotic partners.

"In the same scenario of searching for an injured person, imagine now that a robot is the navigator," says Scheutz, "and the rest of its human teammates are interacting with that robot from a safe distance out of the fray. How might that team work together in a high-stress environment? How could we improve that collaboration?" These questions need answering as robots become an ever-increasing presence on the battlefield and in everyday life, adds Scheutz who directs the Human-Robot Interaction Lab.

The interdisciplinary team has a depth of research publications in eight domains: navigation under affective and time-based stressors; resolving spatial ambiguities during navigation; nutritional influences on stress response; brain stimulation influences on cognitive performance; exercise influences on emotional responding; perceiving threatening behavior within crowds; strategies for emotion regulation during valenced situations; and human-robot teaming.

Read more at: http://engineering.tufts.edu/about/news/2015/applied-brain-cognitive-sciences-center-launch.htmhttp://engineering.tufts.edu/about/news/2015/applied-brain-cognitive-sciences-center-launch.htm