Human Factors and Applied Cognition

yi ching

Psychology professor Yi-Ching Lee is working on a $891,135, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation to study how driving habits can be used to detect and diagnose disease. Photo by Evan Cantwell. 

The Human Factors and Applied Cognition (HFAC) program emphasizes study of a combination of elements within human factors, applied cognition and neuroergonomics in its academic focus.

Human factors involves the design of technologies and work environments to be compatible with human capabilities and limitations. Applied cognition involves the study of the characteristics of basic human perception and cognitive processes relevant to human performance at work. Neuroergonomics is the study of the human brain in relation to performance at work, transportation, and other everyday settings, through two major goals: (1) To advance understanding of human brain function in relation to mental and physical processes and performance in real-world tasks; and (2) To use existing and emerging knowledge of human performance and brain function to design technologies, systems, and environments for safe, efficient, and enjoyable work.

Please view a short video on the work the HFAC concentration has been doing. 


Every day, Mason faculty and students help solve pressing problems, illuminate important issues, and shape conversations. We work to answer questions of relevance through research, scholarship, and creative endeavors—any enterprise offering the chance to break new ground and have a meaningful impact. 


Across all areas of the HFAC program, a strong emphasis is placed on students developing a good understanding of cognitive theory, acquiring advanced methodological and statistical skills, and learning how to apply these tools to real-world human factors problems. Learn more about how our faculty are collaborating with other students in their research labs. At all levels, our students are able to provide valuable input to the research process resulting in award-winning publications and presentations at research symposiums. Find out more about what our students and faculty are achieving. 


At Mason, we put our students and their success first. We focus on providing experiential and integrative learning in all programs through research, field work, internships, and service learning. We work to give every student the opportunity for a meaningful experience. Mason's HFAC program works to provide collaborative experiences for students. Learn more about who we are working with and stay up to date on the latest achievements. 


At Mason, we prepare our students for success in life and in their careers. One of HFAC’s major goals is to provide instruction and research training (MA and PhD) for students wishing to pursue careers in the academic, public, and private sectors. Meet a student (BachelorsMasters, Doctoral) or alum, and learn more about how Mason is making an impact.