Psychoacoustics and Cognitive Ergonomics

Research and development

Psychoacoustics and Cognitive Ergonomics

© Shutterstock
© Shutterstock


The scientific discipline of psychoacoustics deals with the relationship between quantifiably measurable, physical sound events and our subjective perception of what we hear.

The study of psychoacoustics is applied to fields such as sound design. The quality of a sound event is significantly influenced by our perceptions of aspects such as the presence of tones (tonality), among other factors.


Cognitive Ergonomics

The term cognitive ergonomics describes the investigation of working conditions aimed at optimizing working systems with regard to performance as well as thermal comfort. The analysis of cognitive processes (e.g. memory, concentration and conclusion) is of special importance, signifying working in complex and changing situations.


High Performance Indoor Environment

The number of persons working in offices is increasing. Workplaces are nowadays less manual than based on knowledge and information. Therefore, the economic importance of intellectual work is increasing. The number of office workplaces or similar computer workstations amounts already to approx. 17 to 20 million in the Federal Republic of Germany. Working environments, which are inadequately designed from the building physical point of view (acoustics, indoor climate, lighting, air quality), have an impact on health, thermal comfort and performance. Various building physical measures as well as measures of office system technology can have a great influence on the conditions at workplaces. Current projects include the verfification of the mechanisms of building physical parameters on performance as well as the development of technological solutions to optimize performance.



The effect of ambient conditions in offices on the performance of employees

The Department of Acoustics of the Fraunhofer Institute of Building Physics IBP is performing a variety of scientific investigations in cooperation with partners from industry and science. In the process, we are dependent on your participation in the investigations.

Investigations are for example performed on the impact of ambient conditions in offices on employees. The number of persons working in offices is continuosly increasing. Background noise and talking as well as lighting and thermal conditions have an influence on employees. Ambient conditions at workplaces can be specifically designed by various building physical tools and measures of office system technology. Whether and in how far performance and health at office workplaces are influenced thereby, is the purpose of investigations.

In general, the point is to execute tasks at a computer workstation under changing ambient conditions in a workplace similar to an office. The tasks comprise e.g. simple problems of memory such as to remember series of numbers or to answer questions on a text. Participation may be reimbursed by amounts between EUR 5 and EUR 15 per hour, even up to EUR 25 in exceptional cases.

A pool of reliable participants in the investigations is necessary to allow the planning and realization of quick and reliable investigations. If you are interested to take part in future investigations, please send your contact data with the reference "Pool of Test Persons" by E-Mail to . Then, you will be admitted to the group of participants.You will be always previously informed on the contents, duration and reimbursement of imminent investigations.