Physical Ergonomics

Physical ergonomics research is concerned with the application of ergonomics data and principles to improve safety, productivity, and quality of work on psychomotor tasks conducted in industrial and other work settings. This research concentrates on operations and environments, including the design of products that form the basis of employment.

Research Groups

Integrative Physiology Lab

Research in the Integrative Physiology Laboratory primarily focuses on neural control of circulation in humans. These studies aim to better understand the mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disease and orthostatic hypotension, with the goal of uncovering methods for reducing their incidence.

Specifically, we are interested in examining sympathetic neural and cardiovascular responses to various sympathoexcitatory maneuvers including

  • mental stress;
  • exercise;
  • cold pressor test;
  • orthostatic challenges, i.e., lower body negative pressure or head-up tilt; and
  • vestibular activation.

Motor Behavior Lab

Research in the Motor Behavior Laboratory primarily focuses on components that affect learning and memory for decision making, skill acquisition, and retention. Specifically, we are interested in the influence of motor imagery on learning and memory. Motor imagery is defined as the reproduction of movements when overt physical action is not possible. Our goal is to understand the processes underlying motor imagery. This research has practical application for understanding motor programming, learning new skills, and understanding memory; in addition, studies on motor imagery have become more prevalent in the clinical rehabilitation field.

Research assistants who work in the lab gain valuable research experience that will make them highly competitive applicants for graduate programs; they provide support in data collection and analysis, as well as present research at national and international conferences and/or attend the proceedings. The lab is currently equipped with testing computers that run e-prime software.

Autonomic and Cardiovascular Control in Humans; Neurovascular Responses to Mental Stress; Sleep and Autonomic Activity in Humans; Sex Differences and Sympathetic Activity; Aerobic and Anaerobic Balance in Elite Athletes