Designing away from threat and towards performance: On the Road to Neural HCI

Speaker: mc schraefel , University of Southampon

Date: Friday, February 04, 2011

Time: 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM

Refreshments: 9:45 AM

Public: Yes

Location: Reading Room, 32-G882

Event Type:

Room Description:

Host: Rob Miller, MIT CSAIL

Contact: Juho Kim, 6507969759,

Relevant URL:

Speaker URL: None

Speaker Photo:

Reminders to:,,,

Reminder Subject: TALK: Designing away from threat and towards performance: On the Road to Neural HCI


What if we were to learn most of the ergonomics of our physical designs for
interaction were fundamentally wrong:
That rather than supporting creativity and innovation (what we want to
support), our desktop and mobile interactions tended to induce threat, the
antithesis to human performance? Where would we begin to reconsider design?
What if new mutlitouch or open air gestures were evaluated in terms not
just of fitts's law for target acquisition, but for their physiological
effects as well? Would HCI researchers need to learn more about running gas
exchange assessments, muscle biopsies and blood analysis to make claims
about the efficacy of an artefact in a task?

Over the past few years, these are the questions that probings into
cognitive performance and general human performance have been eliciting
within me. If we want to address the above challenges that will only become
more obvious the more common neurological information becomes, HCI may also
need to connect a little more with such an understanding of the nervous
system and its relation to our wellbeing and performance. My sense is that,
with the growth of interdisciplinary research in neurology from
anthropology to cognitive science, we have an opportunity to begin what for
us may be a new path into human computer interaction that may let us ask
new questions about how we engage with information systems, heuristics for
how we design them and challenges for how we evaluate their properties. In
this talk, i'd like to walk through some of these challenges with you, and
see how we might explore where this path may lead. I'd also like to invite
folks to work with me in a NeuralCHI virtual group to help explore and grow
this area.


dr m.c. schraefel, phd, is a Reader in the Faculty of Applied and Physical
Sciences' Electronics and Computer Science dept, University of Southampton
as well as being a Research Associate in the Distributed Information Group
here in CSAIL. Themes in schraefel's work are how to design information
systems to support people, rather than people to support systems ("kill the
form" being a cry that started here in csail). In particular, a motivation
in her work has been to help anyone start at any point in what they know
about something and be able to use that knowledge bit to get to where they
want to go in deepening their knowledge of that something. More recently
her interest in how to support creativity, innovation and discovery
received a Royal Academy of Engineering Senior Research Fellowship,
co-sponsored with Microsoft Research. As well as being a Fellow of the
British Computer Society and of the Web Science Foundation, mc is a
certified strength and condition coach (nsca cscs), nutrition coach and
movement performance master trainer. and

Research Areas:

Impact Areas:

See other events that are part of the HCI Seminar Series 2010/2011.

Created by Linda L. Julien Email at Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at 6:24 AM.