Ioannis Pavlidis

Computational Physiology Lab, University of Houston

Title of Talk

“A Naturalistic Pilot Study of Accelarousal”

We conducted a daytime naturalistic driving study that involved the same 19 km town itinerary under similar light traffic and fair-weather conditions. We applied a real-time unobtrusive design that could serve as template in future driving studies. In this design, driving parameters and drivers’ arousal levels were captured via a vehicle data acquisition and thermal imaging system, respectively. Analyzing the data, we found that about half of the n=11 healthy participants exhibited significantly larger arousal reactions to acceleration with respect to the rest of the sample. Acceleration events were of the mundane type, such as entering a highway from an entrance ramp or starting from a red light. The results suggest an underlying grouping of normal drivers with respect to the loading induced by commonplace acceleration. The finding carries implications for certain professions and the design of semi-autonomous vehicles.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Pavlidis is the Eckhard-Pfeiffer Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Computational Physiology Laboratory at the University of Houston. His research is funded by multiple agencies including the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Transportation, and medical institutions. He has published largely in the areas of affective computing, computational physiology, and the physiological basis of human behavior. He is well known for his work on the quantification of stress and its effect on critical human responses, which appeared in a series of articles in Nature, Lancet, and Scientific Data. Dr. Pavlidis also published a series of widely discussed articles in science policy that appeared in Science Advances and Nature Physics.