Edmund Wascher

Edmund Wascher
Leibniz Research Center for Working Enviroment and Human Factors | IFADO · Ergonomics

Prof.Dr.

About

256
Publications
36,390
Reads
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5,454
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Introduction
Edmund Wascher currently heads the Ergonomics department, Leibniz Research Center for Working Enviroment and Human Factors. Edmund does research in Applied Psychology, Neuroergonomics, Biological Psychology and Cognitive Science. A recent project is 'The cognitive neuro-ergonomics of mental fatigue'.
Additional affiliations
January 2005 - November 2015
Leibniz Research Center for Working Enviroment and Human Factors
Position
  • Managing Director
January 2001 - June 2005
Max-Planck-Institute for Psychological Science
March 1997 - December 2000
Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen

Publications

Publications (256)
Preprint
Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) is essential for sustained work ability in good health, but declines with aging as does the functionality of the immune system, the latter process commonly referred to as immunosenescence. This study aimed to compare the capacity of immunosenescence biomarkers with chronological age for predicting low CRF in a cross-...
Article
Full-text available
Most neuroscientific studies investigating mental effort apply unspecific effort allocation paradigms. In contrast, the present EEG study targets specific effort allocation during task prioritization. Twenty-eight participants performed a cued number classification task during the retention interval of a working memory task including retrospective...
Article
Full-text available
Age‐related differences in the processing of audiovisual speech in a multi‐talker environment were investigated analyzing event‐related spectral perturbations (ERSPs), focusing on theta, alpha, and beta oscillations that are assumed to reflect conflict processing, multisensory integration, and attentional mechanisms, respectively. Eighteen older an...
Preprint
BACKGROUND As employees age, their physical and mental abilities decline and work ability (WA) decreases, enhancing the risk for long-term sick leave or even premature retirement. However, the relative impact of biological and environmental determinants on WA with increasing age is still poorly understood in their complexity. OBJECTIVE Previous re...
Article
What mechanisms underlie the transfer of a working memory representation into a higher-level code for guiding future actions? Electrophysiological correlates of attentional selection and motor preparation processes within working memory were investigated in two retrospective cuing tasks. In the first experiment, participants stored the orientation...
Article
Full-text available
Blinking is a natural user-induced response which paces visual information processing. This study investigates whether blinks are viable for segmenting continuous electroencephalog-raphy (EEG) activity, for inferring cognitive demands in ecologically valid work environments. We report the blink-related EEG measures of participants who performed aud...
Article
Temporal measures (latencies) in the event-related potentials of the EEG (ERPs) are a valuable tool for estimating the timing of mental processes, one which takes full advantage of the high temporal resolution of the EEG. Especially in larger scale studies using a multitude of individual EEG-based tasks, the quality of latency measures often suffer...
Article
Full-text available
Modern living and working environments are more and more interspersed with the concurrent execution of locomotion and sensory processing, most often in the visual domain. Many job profiles involve the presentation of visual information while walking, for example in warehouse logistics work, where a worker has to manage walking to the correct aisle...
Poster
Full-text available
Cognitive effort positively affects task performance. Neuroscientific studies have explored the underlying mechanisms by manipulating the expected monetary incentive associated with successful task performance. Some studies implemented this manipulation by presenting task- and stimulus-unspecific incentive cues prior to the task so that anticipator...
Poster
Full-text available
Poster presented at ICON 2022 in Helsinki Topic of the Poster is the investigation of cortical oscillations from the theta and beta frequency band in an audiovisual cocktail paradigm with older and younger participants.
Preprint
Full-text available
Most neuroscientific studies investigating mental effort apply unspecific effort allocation paradigms. In contrast, the present EEG study targets specific effort allocation during task prioritization. Twenty-eight participants performed a cued number classification task during the retention interval of a working memory task including retrospective...
Preprint
Full-text available
Most neuroscientific studies investigating mental effort apply unspecific effort allocation paradigms. In contrast, the present EEG study targets specific effort allocation during task prioritization. Twenty-eight participants performed a cued number classification task during the retention interval of a working memory task including retrospective...
Article
Full-text available
Stress is assumed to inhibit the top-down control of attention and to facilitate bottom-up processing. Evidence from human experiments, however, remains scarce. Previous studies have addressed how stress affects the interplay of bottom-up and top-down mechanisms of attention. A key open question is in how far such effects can actually be attributed...
Preprint
The cognitive demands of natural behavior in ecologically valid environments are difficult to grasp with neurocognitive methods. While mobile amplifiers may allow EEG to be robustly measured outside controlled laboratory settings, it remains a challenge to extract meaningful event-related EEG activity, which is commonly used to index cognitive dema...
Article
Full-text available
EEG resting-state alpha asymmetry is one of the most widely investigated forms of functional hemispheric asymmetries in both basic and clinical neuroscience. However, studies yield inconsistent results. One crucial prerequisite to obtain reproducible results is the reliability of the index of interest. There is a body of research suggesting a moder...
Preprint
Age-related differences in the processing of audiovisual speech in a multi-talker environment were investigated analyzing event-related spectral perturbations (ERSPs), focusing on theta, alpha, and beta oscillations that are assumed to reflect conflict processing, multisensory integration, and attentional mechanisms, respectively. Eighteen older an...
Preprint
Full-text available
What mechanisms underlie the transfer of a working memory representation into a higher-level code for guiding future actions? Electrophysiological correlates of attentional selection and motor preparation processes within working memory were investigated in two retrospective cuing tasks. In the first experiment, participants stored the orientation...
Article
Full-text available
Attentional models of time perception assume that the perceived duration of a stimulus depends on the extent to which attentional resources are allocated to its temporal information. Here, we studied the effects of auditory distraction on time perception, using a combined attentional‐distraction duration‐discrimination paradigm. Participants were c...
Preprint
Full-text available
BACKGROUND Previous research revealed a number of biological and environmental factors modulating cognitive functioning over a human’s lifespan. However, the relationships and interactions between biological factors, such as genetic polymorphisms, immunological parameters, metabolic products or infectious diseases, and environmental factors, like l...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Previous research revealed several biological and environmental factors modulating cognitive functioning over a human's lifespan. However, the relationships and interactions between biological factors (eg, genetic polymorphisms, immunological parameters, metabolic products, or infectious diseases) and environmental factors (eg, lifesty...
Article
Full-text available
The EEG reflects mental processes, especially modulations in the alpha and theta frequency bands are associated with attention and the allocation of mental resources. EEG has also been used to study mental processes while driving, both in real environments and in virtual reality. However, conventional EEG methods are of limited use outside of contr...
Article
Full-text available
Decoding of electroencephalogram brain representations is a powerful data driven technique to assess the stream of cognitive information processing. It could promote a more thorough understanding of cognitive control networks. For many years, the continuous performance task has been utilized to investigate impaired proactive and reactive cognitive...
Article
Full-text available
Since the addition of fluoride to drinking water in the 1940s, there have been frequent and sometimes heated discussions regarding its benefits and risks. In a recently published review, we addressed the question if current exposure levels in Europe represent a risk to human health. This review was discussed in an editorial asking why we did not ca...
Poster
Full-text available
Preliminary data on an EEG experiment with audiovisual speech stimuli in a multi-talker setting.
Article
Full-text available
In natural conversations, visible mouth and lip movements play an important role in speech comprehension. There is evidence that visual speech information improves speech comprehension, especially for older adults and under difficult listening conditions. However, the neurocognitive basis is still poorly understood. The present EEG experiment inves...
Presentation
Full-text available
When measuring EEG, the electric field generated by cardiac activity is captured by the scalp electrodes as the cardiac field artifact (CFA). In most experimental setups CFA related variance is unsystematic and therefore diminished by averaging procedures when parameterizing the EEG signal. This is not the case, however, when the variance of intere...
Article
Full-text available
Distraction is a major causal factor of road crashes, and very young and older drivers seem to be particularly susceptible to distracting stimuli; however, the possibilities of exploring the causes for increased distractibility of these groups in real traffic seem to be limited. Experiments in a driving simulator are a good choice to eliminate the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Temporal measures (latencies) in the event-related potentials of the EEG (ERPs) are a valuable tool for mental chronometry. In large scale studies with a multitude of single EEG-based tasks the quality of latency measures often suffers from high and low frequency noise due to low trial counts (because of compressed tasks) and the missing opportunit...
Article
Full-text available
Objective We demonstrate and discuss the use of mobile electroencephalogram (EEG) for neuroergonomics. Both technical state of the art as well as measures and cognitive concepts are systematically addressed. Background Modern work is increasingly characterized by information processing. Therefore, the examination of mental states, mental load, or...
Article
Despite the high stress levels, paramedics seem to ignore or even negate the stress. This can be detrimental and lead to stress-related diseases. Therefore, we investigated the divergence between physiological and psychological stress responses of paramedics. Participants were 16 paramedics and 17 white-collar workers. We assessed psychological str...
Preprint
Full-text available
EEG resting state alpha asymmetry is one of the most widely investigated forms of functional hemispheric asymmetries in both basic and clinical neuroscience. However, studies yield very inconsistent results. One crucial prerequisite to obtain reproducible results is the reliability of the index of interest. There is a body of research suggesting a...
Article
Full-text available
The phenomenon of mental fatigue has recently been investigated extensively by means of the EEG. Studies deploying spectral analysis consistently reported an increase of spectral power in the lower frequencies with increasing time‐on‐task, whereas event‐related studies observed decreases in various measures related to task engagement and attentiona...
Article
Full-text available
The neuronal cascade related to the perception of either purely olfactory or trigeminal airborne chemicals has been investigated using electroencephalography (EEG) microstate analyses and source localization. However, most airborne chemicals are bimodal in nature, encompassing both properties. Moreover, there is an ongoing debate regarding whether...
Article
Research on the commonly known phenomenon of perceived accelerated time passage with increasing age has provided inconsistent results. This could be due to a mediating time-slowing effect of depressive symptoms as the prevalence of depression does also alter with age. Based on a large sample of 380 subjects covering a continuous range of age betwee...
Article
Full-text available
Our perception of time varies with the degree of cognitive engagement in tasks. The perceived passage of time accelerates while working on demanding tasks, whereas time appears to drag during boring situations. Our experiment aimed at investigating whether this relationship is mutual: Can manipulated announcements of elapsed time systematically aff...
Article
Full-text available
How can we retrieve action plans in working memory (WM) after being distracted or interrupted? The present EEG study investigated this question using a WM task in which a random sequence of single numbers (1-4 and 6-9) was presented. In a given trial, participants had to decide whether the number presented in the preceding trial was odd or even. Ad...
Article
Full-text available
Healthy aging is associated with deficits in focused and sustained attention and executive functions. However, cognitive training (CT) provides a promising method to counteract these deficits. In the present randomized controlled study, we examined to what extent CT regimes can improve attention, verbal skills, and inhibition capacities. Over a per...
Preprint
Full-text available
In natural conversations, visible mouth and lip movements play an important role in speech comprehension. There is evidence that visual speech information improves speech comprehension, especially for older adults and under difficult listening conditions. However, the neurocognitive basis is still poorly understood. The present EEG experiment inves...
Article
Speech perception under "cocktail-party" conditions critically depends on the focusing of attention toward the talker of interest. In dynamic auditory scenes, changes in talker settings require rapid shifts of attention, which is especially relevant when the position of a target talker switches from one location to another. Here, we explored electr...
Article
Full-text available
Adaptively changing between different tasks while in locomotion is a fundamental prerequisite of modern daily life. The cognitive processes underlying dual tasking have been investigated extensively using EEG. Due to technological restrictions, however, this was not possible for dual task scenarios including locomotion. With new technological oppor...
Preprint
Full-text available
Modern work is increasingly characterized by information processing. Therefore, the examination of mental states, mental load or cognitive processing during work is becoming increasingly important for ergonomics. Mobile EEG is a rapidly developing technology that can objectifiably display mental processes and conditions without impairing the worker...
Article
Full-text available
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) manifests with progressive memory loss and spatial disorientation. Neuropathological studies suggest early AD pathology in the entorhinal cortex (EC) of young adults at genetic risk for AD ( APOE ε4-carriers). Because the EC harbors grid cells, a likely neural substrate of path integration (PI), we examined PI performance i...
Article
Event probability has been traditionally regarded as the major determinant of P3b amplitudes, with amplitudes increasing when stimuli are less likely. Here we show in a simple variant of the continuous performance task that this “oddball effect” does not universally apply. Stimuli were a continuous series of (A or B) –> (X or Y) pairs, with the let...
Article
Full-text available
Recently, epidemiological studies have suggested that fluoride is a human developmental neurotoxicant that reduces measures of intelligence in children, placing it into the same category as toxic metals (lead, methylmercury, arsenic) and polychlorinated biphenyls. If true, this assessment would be highly relevant considering the widespread fluorida...
Article
Full-text available
Mind wandering during ongoing tasks can impede task performance and increase the risk of failure in the laboratory as well as in daily‐life tasks and work environments. Neurocognitive measures like the electroencephalography (EEG) offer the opportunity to assess mind wandering non‐invasively without interfering with the primary task. However, the l...
Article
Retroactive cuing of information after encoding improves working memory performance. However, there is an ongoing debate on the contribution of target enhancement vs. distractor inhibition attentional sub-processes to this behavioral benefit. We investigated the electrophysiological correlates of retroactive attentional orienting by means of oscill...
Article
Full-text available
Interruptions (interfering stimuli to respond to) and distractions (interfering stimuli to be ignored) have been shown to negatively impact performance, particularly in tasks requiring working memory (WM). This study investigated how these two types of external interference affect task performance and attentional and WM processes as indexed by spec...
Article
Full-text available
Working memory (WM) allows for the active storage of stimulus- and higher-level representations, such as action plans. This EEG study investigated the specific electrophysiological correlates dissociating action-related from stimulus-related representations in WM using three different experimental conditions based on the same stimulus material. In...
Article
Full-text available
Cardiac-cycle-time effects are attributed to variations in baroreceptor (BR) activity and have been shown to impinge on subcortical as well as cortical processes. However, cognitive and sensorimotor processes mediating voluntary responses seem to be differentially affected. We sought to disentangle cardiac-cycle-time effects on subcortical and cort...
Article
Understanding the contribution of cognitive processes and their underlying neurophysiological signals to behavioral phenomena has been a key objective in recent neuroscience research. Using a diffusion model framework, we investigated to what extent well-established correlates of spatial attention in the electroencephalogram contribute to behaviora...
Article
Full-text available
Susceptibility to interference increases with age but there is large inter-individual variability in interference control in older adults due to a number of biological and environmental factors. The present study aims at analyzing behavior and ERPs in a Stroop interference task with increasing difficulty in a sample of 246 young, middle-aged and he...
Article
Driver distraction is one major cause of road traffic accidents. In order to avoid distraction-related accidents it is important to inhibit irrelevant stimuli and unnecessary responses to distractors and to focus on the driving task, especially when unpredictable critical events occur. Since inhibition is a cognitive function that develops until yo...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mind wandering during ongoing tasks can impede task performance and increase the risk of failure in laboratory as well as in daily-life tasks and work environments. Neurocognitive measures like the electroencephalography (EEG) offer the opportunity to assess mind wandering non-invasively without interfering with the primary task. However, the liter...
Preprint
Full-text available
What mechanisms are at work when transferring a visual representation in working memory into a higher-level code for guiding future actions? We investigated the underlying attentional and motor selection processes in working memory by means of oscillatory EEG parameters. Participants stored two, three or four objects in working memory and subsequen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Alzheimer's disease (AD) manifests with progressive memory loss and spatial disorientation. Neuropathological studies suggest early AD pathology in the entorhinal cortex (EC) of young adults at genetic risk for AD (APOE ϵ4-carriers). Because the EC harbors grid cells, a likely neural substrate of path integration (PI), we examined PI performance in...