The NCA Group at Bielefeld University investigates user-adaptive assistance systems

The Neurocognition and Action Research (NCA) group at Bielefeld University, Germany, has analysed human memory structures and now applies these findings to the next generation of user-adaptive assistance systems.

The NCA group employs researchers from a diverse range of fields such as cognitive psychology, sports and movement science, biology, neuroscience, computer science and engineering. This interdisciplinary approach has allowed them to establish user-adaptive software for assessing long-term memory structures and predicting human errors for a given task.

Within the Department of Sports Science, the group primarily represents the disciplines of sports psychology, motor control and biomechanics and is dedicated to research, particularly in the areas of performance diagnostics, mental training, neurocognitive organisation of movement, media based movement-learning, dynamic testing and sport anxiety.

The group works in close co-operation with other faculties and institutes within the university, primarily with the faculty of biology and the technical faculty (cognitive robotics and neuroinformatics). The aim of this interdisciplinary cooperation is to analyse the basic mechanisms of behaviour and movement organisation with the purpose of user-adaptive assistance systems and future implementation on technical platforms (robots).

As described in this booklet the NCA group investigates movements of biological organisms, humans, and technical systems in natural and artificial environments. The main research interest is human movement and user-adaptive assistance. For that purpose, the biological basics, the neurocognitive organisation, and the kinematic parameters of human motor functions are analysed using modern research methods.

The NCA group look at ways of understanding neurocognitive actions in ways such as:

  • Personalised cognitive assistant;
  • Intelligent coaching space (ICSPACE); and
  • Job-related cognitive training.

Large-scale research projects based at the NCA group inlcude:

  • Intelligent Coaching Space, exploring how to support people during the performance and the learning of motor actions;
  • The FAMULA Project, which focuses on autonomous robotic familiarisation with novel objects and their affordances;
  • Brain machine interfaces to improve human interactions using resource efficieny and adaptivity; and
  • Single and Dyadic Visuo-haptic Learning, which introduces a novel physical, visuo-haptic and bi-manual, maze task to investigate the question of how humans acquire a new manual skill.
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