Dr Horia Maior (2012 cohort)

Non-invasive brain monitoring devices and physiological data usage

University of Nottingham EPSRC Doctoral Prize Winner 2017

Dr Horia Maior was part of the CDT’s 2012 cohort, and was based in the Mixed Reality Lab (MRL) working closely with academic supervisors Dr Max L. Wilson and Professor Sarah Sharples.

His transdisciplinary PhD research was in both the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Human Factors (HF) areas, and focused on looking at brain and physiological data use for HCI research.

More specifically, he looked at the integration of non-invasive brain monitoring devices, such as functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS), and other physiological sensors for HCI and HF Research.


Amongst various brain sensing technologies, fNIRS is most conducive to ecologically valid user studies, as it is less affected by body movement and can be worn whilst using a computer at a desk.

Horia successfully passed his PhD viva in July 2017, and he has been successful in securing EPSRC Doctoral Prize funding from the University of Nottingham to continue to develop the impact of his research for a further two years as a Postdoc Researcher. The title of his award is Brain-Tracker: A fit-bit for the Brain based on physiological sensors, tracking the mental workload of everyday task.

You can view Horia’s ComputerPhile video about his research below.