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Welcome to the webpages of the chair Biological Psychology and Neuroergonomics.

Visit our laboratory

Lupe

After extensive construction work, a lot of exciting experiments take place in our lab

TEDx Talk | Prof. Dr. Klaus Gramann

Lupe

Imaging Human Brain Activity in Motion | Prof. Dr. Klaus Gramann | 9th June 2017

Current information from the department

TWINning the BRAIN - EU Project Horizon 2020

The Berlin Mobile Brain/Body Imaging Labs (BeMoBIL) associated with the Chair of Biological Psychology and Neuroergonomics (Prof. Dr. Klaus Gramann) successfully obtained funding from the European Union under the "Horizon 2020 Twinning widespread-05-2020" program. The team will be a central project partner in the project "TWINning the BRAIN with machine learning for neuro-muscular efficiency (TwinBrain)" which officially started on November 1st 2020 with a duration of three years. The project is headed by Dr. Uroš Marušič from the Institute for Kinesiological Research, Science and Research Centre Koper (ZRS Koper), Slovenia. Further project partners include the Université de Genève, Switzerland and the Neurology Department of Cattinara Hospital, Italy. The € 0.9M project with a duration of three years aims to establish a research and diagnostic centre in the field of neuromuscular efficiency and to understand the functioning and control of the central nervous system during movement.

The ultimate goal of the project is to set up the SloMoBIL: Slovenian Mobile Brain/Body Imaging Laboratory, which will be established through the transfer of knowledge and technology from BeMoBIL at TU Berlin. MoBI uses synchronous recordings of brain (electroencephalography, EEG) and behavioural data (motion capture) in combination with data-driven analyses methods to better understand brain dynamics in actively moving humans. The TwinBrain project plans to implement machine learning methods (Université de Genève) that can statistically “learn” nonlinear relationships between brain dynamics and behaviour. This will further extend the MoBI method and will ultimately be applied to investigate brain dynamics in patients suffering from Morbus Parkinson to develop new intervention and training approaches (Neurology Department of Cattinara Hospital).

 

Prof. Dr. Klaus Gramann

NET4AGE-FRIENDLY COST

Bettina Wollesen was appointed as representative of the EU project NET4AGE-FRIENDLY COST for Germany.

To promote social inclusion, independent living and active and healthy ageing in society, the NET4AGE-FRIENDLY COST Action will establish an international and interdisciplinary network of researchers and stakeholders from all sectors. Its aim is to foster awareness, and to support the creation and implementation of smart, healthy indoor and outdoor environments for present and future generations. NET4AGE-FRIENDLY further aims to overcome fragmentation and critical gaps at both conceptual and pragmatic innovation level on responsive, age-friendly and sustainable environments to address European research and policy challenges.

The main approach of NET4AGE-FRIENDLY is the establishment of local or regional ecosystems in each COST country involved, to work on health and well-being in an age-friendly digital world. The ecosystems will consist of citizens, public authorities, businesses/NGOs and researchers. They will be supported by four thematic Working Groups (User-centred inclusive design in age-friendly environments and communities; Integrated health and well-being pathways; Digital solutions and large-scale sustainable implementation; Policy development, funding forecast and cost-benefit evaluations). The outcomes of the thematic Working Groups will be integrated by a dedicated Working Group to create a synergised output as a Reference Framework.

NET4AGE-FRIENDLY will be used as a connector for involving and hosting regular themed sessions with local and regional stakeholders and users’ representatives from various countries and backgrounds, as well as for fostering the knowledge creation and sharing among researchers. Particular attention will be devoted to promoting the involvement of Early Career Investigators, entrepreneurs and participants from COST Inclusiveness Target Countries.

Hygiene Protocol for EEG experiments

In preparation for resuming our experiments we created a

Hygiene Protocol for EEG experiments

DiCiS – Digital Coaching of individual stress coping competencies for health care personell

Within the project, an innovative prevention and health promotion system for nurses and care personnel will be developed which aims to serve both the omission and reduction of stress-related health risks as well as the reinforcement of the self-determined, health-oriented behavior of the target group. The overarching goal of the project, according to § 20 ff. SGB V, is to support the implementation of the occupational health promotion of health care personnel with a scientifically grounded approach.
In so doing, both motivational-individual and work-specific factors are focused on. Via this approach, tailored to the individual needs of the target group, a typical high drop-out rate in health promotion measures shall be counteracted. The overall process is as follows:

With a participative study approach involving the target group, an app-based biofeedback system is developed, which offers nurses a stress reduction training adapted to their individual needs. For this purpose, the initial step is a need assessment in the cooperating care facilities. During this explorative phase, work- and stress-related behaviors and demands of the target group for a digital health system are identified and data on individual motivation types of the nurses are gathered. In the second phase, focus lies on the development of the biofeedback system, whereby heart rate variability, electrocardiogram, and additional physiological measures are facilitated. With the DiCiS app, nurses will be able to directly observe the measured data. Based on individualized profiles, the app suggests exercises for stress reduction. Additionally, the participating care facilities receive recommendations for occupational health promotion measures, grounded on the needs assessment and tailored to structural characteristics.

Responsibilities of Technische Universität Berlin:

- Needs analysis according to the BASE concept (Wollesen et al., 2016) in the form of both a quantitative and qualitative survey of the target group in the cooperating facilities in terms of individualized needs of out- vs in-patient facilities and the concomitant stress experiences of nurses; inquiry of demands toward a digital health system; and determination of individual motivation types based on an established health behaviour change model (HAPA)

- Conception of stress reduction interventions tailored to motivational types, depending on the nature of the facility (out- vs in-patient)

- Implementation of the interventions by means of the biofeedback system and the the DiCiS app

- Evaluation of the intervention in relation to the efficacy of the DiCiS app and the biofeedback system under consideration of the overarching goal of sustainable health behaviour change of the nurses. Here, focus is on the process and outcome evaluation.

- Textualisation of guidances for the facilities’ occupational health promotion and management programmes, based on the above-mentioned evaluation

Transfer BASE into new care settings

Within the framework of the project, three home care facilities and selected departments in three hospitals are to be cared for in the greater Berlin area. The facilities will implement a prevention programme, which is tailored to the needs of the institution and integrates a setting-oriented health management and associated interventions of health promotion. These steps primarily include the field of physical activity, nutrition and relaxation, which are also adapted to the particularities and needs of the respective facility and may require the implementation of further thematic focuses (e.g., work organisation, dealing with shift work).

According to the BASE concept (Wollesen et al., 2008, 2012, 2016), the following aspects will be implemented within the individual facilities: 

·         Preparation of an expert analysis to describe successful health promotion interventions and projects in hospitals and home care facilities,

·         Identification of setting specific needs for action (hospital vs. home care facilities),

·         Promotion of the health potential of employees in hospitals and home care facilities through tailored interventions,

·         Implementation of the setting approach through the targeted recording of the respective institutional requirements, needs and barriers in the facilities (through surveys, participating observations, interviews, focus groups); simultaneously, network partners are searched for in the environment, for sustainable implementation

·         Focusing the nursing staff by establishing relationships to existing health promotion structures,

·         Participation of all participants in the health promotion process (personnel management, occupational health and safety, occupational medicine, health circles, etc.) as a core component of the success of the BASE concept,

·         Promotion of mobility/development of resources through adapted and digitised interventions. 

The corresponding interventions in the facilities are systematically evaluated (structure, process, outcome) in order to derive concrete planning and action aids which are transferred into training documents or handouts.

The nursing facilities involved are described on the basis of their basic requirements (type of hospital, number of beds, staff keys, quarters, etc.) in order to analyse the applicability of the concept under a wide range of conditions and thus cover a broad spectrum of practice. 

The overall process for the facilities is as follows:

·         Needs analysis in accordance with the BASE concept (orientation to structural company conditions - including recording workloads; consideration of the organisational and social environment such as working hours, breaks; involvement of employees - including surveys on wishes for health promotion)

·         Derivation of recommendations for health management/ health promotion for the respective setting

·         Integration of the respective institutional requirements into the concept and connection to existing structures (e.g., to existing interventions within the framework of the health management in hospitals)

·         Clarification of cooperation possibilities in the course of the health promotion process (e.g., with accident insurances and pension insurance institutions)

·         Joint definition of an action plan

·         Development of suitable prevention interventions for the home care and the hospital setting

·         Implementation of intensive interventions close to the workplace (according to criteria § 20 SGB V), integration in the corporate culture

·         Review of the success of the intervention

·         Preparation of a sustainability concept and review of its implementation

·         Conversion of the results into a brochure / handbook and related publications.

PROfit – Prevention Orientation Training in nursing home facilities

Older people living in care facilities often suffer from multimorbidity. Especially in this highly aged population, a progressive decline in motor and cognitive abilities often results in decreased quality of life. A large proportion of nursing home residents are physically inactive and spend their time alone. Such physical inactivity has multiple negative consequences on health and social wellbeing. In addition, decreasing cognitive abilities lead to functional limitations in performing fundamental physical and mental actions such as climbing stairs and orientation. Moreover, cognitive decline has been proven to be a risk factor for activities of daily life (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily life (IADL) decline in older adults, contributing to decreased quality of life.

Therefore, the aim of this project funded by the Techniker Krankenkasse is to develop and to evaluate cognitive motor exercise interventions to increase spatial orientation and life-space mobility for nursing home residents.

This will be realized in three stages:

(1)    Analysis of the needs and barriers of primary prevention for nursing home residents

Eighteen nursing homes will be recruited in total (six per site) in three regions of Germany: Berlin, Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region, Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. The institutions involved will be selected based on the number of residents (minimum 100), in order to include a sufficient amount of participants.

Following the structure of the PROCARE-program combining the analyzed needs together with the goals of the institution, a specific program with tailored interventions will be conducted.

(2)    Implementation and evaluation of the three interventions

The overall goal of an integrated multicentric RCT is to investigate the efficiency of the three different intervention approaches on physical activity, life-space and spatial orientation:
a. PROfit basic: functional strength, balance, flexibility, and walking exercises in a predefined training room

b. PROfit plus:  the same as (a) but in various locations throughout the facility 

c. PROfit orientation: elements of (a) and (b) with additional navigation and spatial orientation training components

(3)    Development of individual sustainability concepts for the institutions

One exercise component which has not been addressed in previous programs, in particular with nursing home residents, is spatial orientation. One way to support spatial orientation in the daily activities of dementia home residents is to integrate supportive spatial information like landmarks into care facilities. Surfacing these existing landmarks by describing them as distinct spatial reference points during the training intervention will encourage increased spatial learning.

The project will identify these specific landmarks in the eighteen facilities, develop a training approach adapted to nursing home residents, and implement it into the daily routines of the nursing homes.

Sezen Akman and Lukas Gehrke awarded by the VDI

On 27 September, Sezen Akman and Lukas Gehrke were honoured as the best 2019 graduates of the technical courses of the universities of the region by the Bezirksverein Berlin-Brandenburg in the Association of German Engineers (VDI) with their master's or doctoral thesis on the topic "Development of a real-time evaluation method for the quality of virtual realities".

Congratulations!

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Biological Psychology and Neuroergonomics
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