Engineering Psychophysiology in Japan
Akihiro Yagi Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan
For a number of years, I have been proposing the concept of psychological engineering, which is best defined as engineering relating to human psychological activities ( Yagi, 1981, 1995a). Psychological engineering is a broad concept that includes engineering psychophysiology. It consists of several subordinate themes. The first theme is the development of new systems between the human mind and machines. Some systems are being developed in industrial settings. The reason for the need for developing such new approaches is the fact that the purpose of development of a machine is gradually shifting from convenience to comfort.
The second theme is the development of the technology to measure psychological effects in industrial settings. This includes the development of new types of questionnaires and the application of multidimensional analysis to the psychological activities. In engineering areas, it also includes the development of new psychophysiological methods, such as neural imaging techniques including fMRI and MEG, and the application of analysis, such as procedures attempting to identify electric dipoles in the brain.
The third theme is the development of new types of human-machine systems incorporating concepts and procedures utilizing virtual reality. The fourth is the development of the concept of an artificial mind. This is an attempt to develop a computer that operates similarly to the way humans think. Artificial intelligence is a well-known example of this development. Further, artificial emotion and motivation may be implemented in computers or artificial neural systems of the future. The fifth theme is engineering psychophysiology. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the reader to trends in recent engineering psychophysiological efforts in Japan.