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Professor Emeritus Daniel Gopher

General Information

Daniel Gopher is a professor of Cognitive Psychology and Human Factors Engineering and holds the Yigal Alon Chair for the Study of Humans at Work.  He is a fellow of the U.S. Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and the International Ergonomics Association. Since 1980 he has been the director of The Research Center for Work Safety and Human Engineering, an interdisciplinary research centre which involves 30 researchers from 5 Technion faculties and 80 graduate students, who work in 7 laboratories. In 1996 he also established together with Prof. Asher Koriat from Haifa University, the joint Technion-Haifa University Max Wertheimer Minerva Research Center, for Cognitive Processes and Human Performance. Prof. Gopher joined the Technion Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management in 1979, after serving 12 years in the Israel Defence Forces, during which he was a senior scientist and acting head of the Research Unit in the Personnel Division (1966--1970), and senior scientist and head Human Factors of the Airforce (1970--1979).

Prof. Gopher received his doctorate in experimental psychology from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 1973--1975 he had a postdoctoral appointment at the Institute of Aviation and the Department of Psychology of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, during which he also obtained supplementary education in engineering, human factors and aviation.

Research Summary
Prof. Gopher's research work is on topics of human attention and work load, training of complex skills and components of motor behavior. His research puts equal emphasis on theory and application. One focus of research has been on problems of attention overload and the processing and response limitations of humans. He proposed a conceptual framework, a theoretical model, and a methodological approach to the study of the resource and capacity limitations of humans. This work has been accompanied by the study of individual differences in attention capabilities, voluntary control of attention, and the ability to develop strategic control and attention management skills with training. Applications of this work led to a test of individual differences in selective attention, which is used in Israel and in other countries, in the context of pilot selection. Another product is a computer game based trainer, to improve the skill of attention control. This trainer has been tested and is in use in Israel and the US.

Another focus has been the study of motor behavior, with emphasis on manual control of dynamic systems and on the performance of transcription skills, such as typing and music playing. The work addressed the dimensions of proficiency in these tasks and their representation in memory. Application of this work led to the development of innovative data entry devices, replacing the standard keyboard. These devices have been incorporated in airplane cockpits, and also made a commercial product for public use.

The work on skill acquisition has focused on the components of skills, the interplay between bottom-up experience and top-down processes in the development of proficiency. An application of this theory to development of a microprocessor based trainer for teaching attention skills in flight, has been awarded the 1995 Jerome Ely award, by the US Human Factors and Ergonomics Association, for the best paper published in Human Factors during 1994. More recently the same theoretical bases has been applied to the development of a cognitive trainers for basketball named Intelligym.

Other applications are methods of investigating human factor determinants of accidents at work, human factors and safety in medical systems and human behavior in multimodal virtual reality.

Current Research Projects

Study of executive control functions of the human processing system

Study of skill acquisition and training methods for complex skills

Study of human factors and safety in medical systems

Study of human behavior in multimodal virtual environments

Selected Publications
  • Gopher, D. and Kahneman, D. (1971) "Individual differences in attention and the prediction of flight criteria", Perceptual and Motor Skills, 14, 1335-1342.
  • Gopher, D. (1973) "Eye movement patterns in selective listening tasks of focused attention", Perception and Psychophysics, 14,(2), 159-264.
  • Gopher, D., Williges, B.H., Williges, R.C. and Damos, D.L. (1975) "Varying the type and number of adaptive variables in continuous tracking", Journal of Motor Behavior, 7, 159-170.
  • North, R.A. and Gopher, D. (1976) "Measures of attention as predictors of flight performance", Human Factors, 18, 1-14.
  • Gopher, D. and North, R.N. (1977). "Manipulating the conditions of training in time-sharing performance", Human Factors, 19, 583-593.
  • Adams, J., Gopher, D., and Lintern, G. (1977). "The effects of visual and proprioceptive feedback on motor learning", Journal of Motor Behavior, 9, 1977, 11-32.
  • Wickens, C.D. and Gopher, D. (1977). "Control theory measures of tracking as indices attention allocation strategies", Human Factors, 19, 349-365.
  • Rouse, W.B. and Gopher, D. (1977). "Estimation and control theory: Its application to modeling human behavior", Human Factors, 19, 315-329.
  • Lintern, G. and Gopher, D. (1978). "Adaptive training of perceptual motor skills", International Journal of Man-Machine Systems, 19, 1978, 521-551.
  •  Navon, D. and Gopher, D. (1979). "On the economy of the human processing system", Psychological Review, 86, 214-253. Also published in Maital, S. and Maital S.L. (Eds.): Economics and Psychology. London: Elgar Reference Collection, 1993. also in Underwood, G. (Ed). Critical Writing in Psychology: Attention. U.K. Edward Elgar, 1994..
  • Gopher, D. and Lavie, P. (1980). "Short-term rhythms in the performance of a simple motor task", Journal of Motor Behavior, 12 (3), 207-219.
  • Gopher, D. and Navon, D. (1980). "How is performance limited: Testing the notion of central capacity", Acta Psychologica, 46, 161-180.
  • Lavie, P., Gopher, D., Fogel, R. and Zomer, J. (1980). "Ultradian rhythms in perceptual motor tasks". In: L.C. Johnson, D.I. Tepas, W.P. Colcuchon, and M.G. Colligan (Eds.), The Twenty-four Hour Work Day, NIOSH, Washington, D.C.
  • Navon, D. and Gopher, D. (1980) "Interpretations of task difficulty in terms of resources: Efficiency, load, demand, and cost composition", Attention and Performance VIII, Lawrence Erlbaum and Associates, 294-315.
  • North, A.R., Gopher, D., and Roscoe, S. (1980). "Manipulatand measurement of concurrent task performance. In S.N. Roscoe (Ed.), Aviation Psychology, Iowa State University Press.
  • Gopher, D. (1982). "A selective attention test as a predictor of success in flight training", Human Factors, 24, 173-183.
  • Gopher, D., Brickner, M. and Navon, D. (1982). "Different difficulty manipulations interact differently with task emphasis: Evidence for multiple resources", Journal Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 8, 146-157.
  • Navon, D., Gopher, D., Chillag, M. and Spitz, G. (1984). "On separability of and interference between tracking dimensions in dual axis tracking", Journal of Motor Behavior, 16, 364- 392.
  • Gopher, D. (1984). "On the contribution of vision-based imagery to the acquisition and operation of a transcription skill". In: W. Prinz, A. Sanders, and H. Heuer (Eds.), Cognition and Motor Processes, Springer-Verlag,, 195-208
  • Gopher, D. and Sanders, A. (1984). "S-Oh-R: Oh stages, Oh resources". In W. Prinz, A Sanders, and H. Heuer, (Eds.), Cognition and Motor Processes , Springer-Verlag, 231-254.
  • Gopher, D. and Braune, R.(1984). "On the psychophysics of workload: Why bother with subjective measures", Human Factors, 26, 519-532.
  • Gopher, D. Karis D. and Koenig, W. (1985). "The representation of movement schema in long term memory: lessons from the acquisition of a transcription skill." Acta Psychologica, 60, 105-134.
  • Gopher, D. and Donchin, E. (1986). "Workload: An examination of the concept". In K. Boff, and L. Kaufman, (Eds.): Handbook of Human Perception and Performance, NewYork: John Wiley, Vol II, 41, 1-49.
  • Gopher D. (1986). "In defense of resources: On structures, energies, pools and the allocation of attention". In Hockey, Gaillard and Coles (Eds.) Energetics and Human Information Processing. Martinus Nijhoff, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 353-373.
  • Lavie, P., Gopher, D., & Wollman, M. (1987). "Thirty-six hour structure of performance under prolonged sleep deprivation". Psychophysiology, 24, 430-438.
  • Gopher D. (1987). "Cognition at your finger tips - A cognitive approach to the design of data entry devices". In Salvendy, G. (Ed.), Cognitive Engineering in the Design of Human- Computer Interaction and Expert Systems. Elsevier Science Publication, 233-241.
  • Gopher, D., & Raij, D. (1988) "Typing with a two hand chord keyboard - will the QWERTY become obsolete?" IEEE Transactions in System Man and Cybernetics 18, 60l-609.
  • Gopher, D. & Kimchi, R. (1989). "Engineering psychology". An invited chapter for volume 40 of the Annual Review of Psychology, 43l-455.
  • Gopher, D., Weil, M., & Siegel, D. (1989). "Practice under changing priorities: An approach to training of complex skills". Acta Psychologica, 71, 147-179.
  • Erez, M., Gopher, D., & Arzi, N. (1990). "Effects of self-set goals and monetary rewards on the performance of complex tasks, under time sharing conditions". Journal of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision-Making, 47 247-269.
  • Gopher, D. (1990). "Attention". In M. Eysenk, (Ed.), The Blackwell Dictionary of Cognitive Psychology, Basil Blackwell, Oxford, England, 23-28.
  • Gopher, D. (1990). "Dual-Tasks". In N. Eysenk, (Ed.), The Blackwell Dictionary of Cognitive Psychology. Basil-Blackwell, Oxford, England, 111-116.
  • Gopher, D., Weil, M., & Siegel, D. (1995) "Is it only a game: The use of computer games in the training of complex skills". In: E. Bar-On, B. Eylon, Z. Schertz, (Eds.), Artificial intelligence tools for training. Abelex Publications, U.S.A.
  • Gopher, D. (1993). The skill of attention control: Acquisition and execution of attention strategies. In D. Meyer & S. Kornblum (Eds.). Attention and Performance XIV: Synergies in Experimental Psychology, Artificial Intelligence, and Cognitive Neuroscience - A Silver Jubilee. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Kimchi, R., Gopher, D., Rubin, Y., & Raij, D. (1993). Performance under Dichoptic versus Binocular Viewing. Human Factors, 35, 35-55.
  • Gopher, D.(1994). Analysis and measurement of mental workload. In d'Ydewalle G., Eelen P., & Bertelson, P. (Eds.), International Perspectives on Cognitive Sciences, Vol. II London: Lawrence Erlbaum, Chap. 13, 265-291.
  • Gopher, D. (1994). Human Factors Engineering. An entry to an updating volume of The Hebrew Encyclopedia, Massada Press. (in Hebrew)
  • Gopher, D., Weil, M., & Bareket, T. (1994). Transfer of skill from a computer game trainer to flight. Human Factors, 36, 1-19. This paper was republished by the Human Factors and Ergonomic Society, in Best of Human Factors: Thirty classic contributions to Human Factors/Ergonomic Science and Engineering (2008)
  • Donchin, Y., Gopher, D., Olin, M., Badihi, Y., Beisky, M., Sprung, C., & Kotev.(1995). The Nature and Causes of Human Error in the Intensive Care Unit. Critical Care Medicine. , 23, pp 294-300.
  • Kimchi, R., Trainin, O. Gopher, D. (1995). Can attention be voluntarily directed to an eye- field. Acta Psychologica.., 89, 229-238.
  • Erev, I., Gopher,D., Itkin, T., & Greenshpan, Y. (1995). Toward a generalization of signal detection theory to N-person games: The example of two person safety problem. Journal of Mathematical Psychology , 39, 360-375.
  • Gopher, D. (1996) Attention Control: Explorations of the Work of an Executive Controller. Cognitive Brain Research, 5, 23-38
  • Gilat S., Meyer J., Erev I., Gopher D., (1997) Beyond Bayes' theorem: The effect of basic rate information in concensus game. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. 3,83-104.
  • Seagull F. J. & Gopher D. (1997). Training head movement in visual scanning: An embeded approach o the development of piloting skills with helmet mounted displays. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. 3, 463-480
  • Erev, I., Gopher, D. ( 1999). A cognitive game teoretical analysis of attention strategies, ability and Incentive. In D. Gopher & A. Koriat (Eds): Attention and Performance XVII – Cognitive regulation of performance: Theory and application.Cambridgs, MA: MIT Press. Pp. 343-372.
  • Gopher, D., Koriat, A. (1999) Bridging the gap between basic and applied research on the cognitive regulation of performance. In D. Gopher & A. Koriat (Eds): Attention and Performance XVII - Cognitive regulation of performance: Theory and application.Cambridgs, MA: MIT Press.pp. 3-14.
  • Kramer, A., Hahn, S, Gopher D. (1999) Task Coordination and Aging: Exploration of execuitve ontrol processes in the task switching paradigm. Acta Psychologica, 101, pp 339-378.
  • Meyer J., Kuskin-Shamo M. Gopher D. (1999). Information Structure and relative efficacy of tables and Graphs. Human Factors. 41, pp 570-587.
  • Gopher D. & Koriat A. (Eds). (1999) Attention and Performance XVII: Cognitive Regulation of Performance - Theory and Application. Boston, MIT Press,
  • Gopher D. (2000)(invited) Mental Workload. Encyclopedia of Psychology American psychological Association, Oxford University Press.
  • Gopher D., Itkin-Webman T., Erev I., Meyer J., Armony L. (2000). The effect of shared responsibility And competition in perceptual games: A test of cognitive game-theoretic extention of signal detection theory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. 26, pp 325-341.
  • Gopher D., Armony L., Greenshpan Y. (2000). Switching tasks and attention policies. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 109, pp 306-339.
  • Yechiam, E., Erev, I., Gopher, D. (2001). On the potential value and limitation of emphasis change and other exploration enhanching training methods. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 4, pp 277-285.
  • Gopher D, Iani C. (2002). Attention. Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. London: Nature Publishing Company.
  • Oron-Gilad T., Meyer J,. Gopher, D. (2001) Monitoring dynamic processes with alphanomeric and Graphic displays. Theoretical Isssues in Ergonomic science, Ties, 2, pp 368-389.
  • Nave, R. Iani, C., Herer. P., Gopher, D., Lavie, P. ( 2002) Residual effects of day time administration of melatonin: Dependency on nap length. Behavioral Brain Research 131, pp 87-95
  • Yechiam, E., Erev, I., Yehene, V. , Gopher, D., (2004). Melioration and the Transition from Touch- Typing Training to Everyday Use. Human Factors, 45, pp 671-684.
  • Iani, C., Gopher, D., Lavie, P. (2004). Peripheral vosoconstriction reflects exerted mental effort. Psychophysiology, 41, pp 789-798.
  • Gopher, D. (2004). Why it is not sufficient to study errors and incidents-Human n factors and safety in medical systems. Biomedical Instrumentation and Technology, 45, pp 387-391.
  • Sinreich, D., Gopher, D. Ben-Barak, S., Marmur, Y., & Menchel, R. (2005). Mental models as a practical tool in the engineer’s toolbox . International Journal of Production Research, 43, 2977- 2996.
  • Einav Y , Gopher D, Donchin Y. (2005) Taking action to reduce medical errors: Don't put the cart before the horse. Crit.Care.Resusc, 7,128-30. 2005.
  • Gopher D. (2006). Control processes in the formation of task units. In: Qicheng Jing (Ed.): Psychological Science around the World, Volume 2, Social and Applied Issues. Oxford Psychology Press. A chapter based on a keynote address given at the 28th International Congress of Psychology
  • Gopher, D. (2007). Emphasis change as a training protocol for high demands tasks. In: A. Kramer, D. Wiegman, A. Kirlik (Eds): Attention: From Theory to Practice. Oxford Psychology Press.
  • Iani, C., Gopher, D., Grunwald, A., Lavie, P. (2007) Peripheral arterial tone as an on-line measure of load in a simulated flight task. Ergonomics. 50, 1026-1035.
  • Yechiam, E., & Gopher, D. (2008). Deliberate suppression of vision as a training tool for multimodal skills. In C. A. Avizzano (Ed). SKILLS: Beyond Movement. Alinea publishing house.
  • Einav Y, Gopher D, Kara I, Ben-Yosef O, Lawn M Laufer N, Liebergall M, Donchin Y (in press) Preoperative briefing in the operating room: shared cognition, team work, and patient safety. Chest.

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