Research Laboratories

Simulation Usability Research Facility (SURF)


Led by Mark Scerbo, Ph.D., the SURF lab is currently working on several projects that examine cognitive workload in laparoscopic surgery, cognitive factors that impact standardized patients, human spatial abilities in ultrasonography, and the application of virtual reality for improving surgical judgment and decision making. 






Applied Cognitive Performance Lab


Led by Yusuke Yamani, Ph.D., the Applied Cognitive Performance lab is concerned with understanding the mechanisms of attention and their constraints on human performance in basic and real-world environments. To this end, the lab adopts a variety of methods including psychophysics, eye tracking, and simulation as well as behavioral techniques using analytic methodologies. Current research topics include visual selective/divided attention, human-automation interaction, drivers’ allocation of attention in driving simulators and trust in automated agents.





Psychology of Design Lab


Led by Jeremiah Still, Ph.D., the Psychology of Design (PoD) lab is currently developing models to predict eye movements within interfaces and improving/inventing usable authentication methods in order to make logging into a system easier and safer by designing interactions that exploit users' natural cognitive abilities.







Research Environment for Alarm & Complex Task Simulation (REACTS) Lab



Led by James Bliss, Ph.D., the REACTS lab investigates issues concerning the phenomenon of alarm mistrust, including strategies to improve operator responding and variables that may interact with alarm mistrust.  They also investigate human-robot interaction and the role of games and other simulation tools for skill training.





Human-Automation Collaboration (HAC) Lab


Led by Jing Chen, Ph.D., the HAC Lab investigates the fundamental principles of human performance and decision-making, and applies these principles to real-world problems. Dr. Chen’s team has worked on safety-critical systems such as semi-autonomous driving systems and phishing detection systems in the cyber space.




Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC)


At VMASC, faculty, researchers, and students conduct a wide range of funded research projects concerning modeling and simulation. Human factors specialists provide research, testing, training, and behavioral modeling support for the military, medical, and business applications. Customers include the U S Navy, Northrop Grumman Newport News, and the US Joint Forces Command.