The Human Factors and Neuroergonomics team at ISAE-SUPAERO offers a postdoctoral position in Neuroergonomics. The postdoctoral researcher's project will aim to study the modulation of aircraft pilots and brain-injured patients' mental flexibility.
Recent research in Neuroergonomics and security reports in high risk systems have shown that operators’ decision making impairments can be observed in critical situations. These impairments seem to be strongly correlated to a lack of mental flexibility. External factors, such as time pressure, conflicts or workload can interfere with executive functions—the cognitive processes that maintain mental flexibility. This kind of impairments is also observed in patients with frontal lobe lesions, albeit with chronic and serious deficits in executive functions without any external pressure. In order to improve mental flexibility, patients can benefit from reeducation based on regular training of executive functions along with a non-invasive brain stimulation. One of the key areas for such processing is the prefrontal cortex. Previous studies have shown however that maintaining a good level of mental flexibility in complex tasks involves a dynamic integration of several brain areas distributed in large networks. These areas in cooperation can be solicited by a multi-modal intervention such as motor-cognitive tasks associated with a transcranial stimulation. Recent research suggest that these tools could be improved in the clinical domain and transposed to the field of high risk systems to help operators maintaining an efficient level of mental flexibility when facing contextual interference.
The goal of the present project is to develop a new training program and to assess its impact on pilots' mental flexibility in emergency management on the one hand and in patients rehabilitation on the other hand. The postdoctoral researcher will work with a young and dynamic research team that includes scientists in Neuroscience and Neuroergonomics. He or she will help developing tools for brain signal connectivity analyses, acquire and analyze EEG signals and have great opportunities for scientific publications.