Doctoral Program

Kansei Ergonomics

Knowledge about the user’s perception and cognition is fundamentally important to improve usability of products or environments. One of the objectives of the field of Kansei Ergonomics is the improvement of product/service design, using neurobehavioral methods on human perception and cognition, including the standardization of industrial applications.

Research in this field is conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).

  1. Visual space perception and visual orientation are basic research targets, and applied studies aim to reduce the biomedical effects caused by watching video images. At the basic research level, methods of experimental psychology are used to investigate motion parallax, visual space orientation, and visually induced perception of self-motion (vection). At the level of applications, subjective scoring and objective measures, such as electrocardiogram and plethysmogram, are used to investigate visually induced motion sickness and visual fatigue of stereoscopic images. Based on these studies, an image evaluation system and an international standardization of image guidelines are developed.
  2. We are trying to investigate basic functions of human cognition (e.g., attention and memory) using psychophysical and psychophysiological methods. Various factors affecting cognitive performance, such as physical fitness, sleep duration, mental stress, and aging, have also been investigated. Furthermore, to apply findings from basic research, we have directed our efforts to application research, such as investigating drivers’ workload while using in-vehicle devices, estimating sleepiness and performance during VDT tasks, and applying electrophysiological measures to emotion and kansei evaluation.
  3. Multimodal neuroimaging techniques, which integrate data from multiple non-invasive imaging modalities including fMRI, EEG/MEG, and NIRS, are used to investigate dynamic properties of brain activity underlying higher-order cognitive functions specific to humans. These techniques are applied not only to visualize ongoing brain activities, but also to analyze the neural interactions between multiple brain areas for quantitative evaluation of subjective perception/cognition, which is crucial for optimizing the design of industrial products and services.

Research Topics

  • Research on biomedical effects of motion sickness and visual fatigue induced by visual images
  • Research on visual space perception and its interaction with body motion
  • Research on quantitative evaluation of subjective perception/cognition using functional brain imaging.
  • Development of multimodal neuroimaging techniques for industrial application
  • Research on human visual attention and memory
  • Development of psychophysiological measures for estimating cognitive status