Human factors is a multidisciplinary field directed to the design and evaluation of human-machine systems. The APAL supports research relating to a diverse array of human factors issues. The focus of APAL is on quantitative studies of how perceptually guided movement is used to support the perception and exploitation of Perception and Action in Virtual Environments. The majority of research in APAL is motivated by the Ecological Approach to Human-Machine Systems, a theoretical perspective derived from the Ecological Approach to Perception and Action.
People come to Human Factors with an incredible diversity of backgrounds, education, and experience; Psychology, Kinesiology, Engineering, Computer Science, even Journalism. The paths that people take in becoming a Human Factors professional is often circuitous. Human Factors is an interdisciplinary field. It is an emerging consensus that in our increasingly technological society development and design decisions will be most successful, most efficient, most effective, if they take as their fundamental unit of analysis the human-machine system.
APAL is the successor to the Human Factors Research Laboratory (HFRL), which was directed by Dr. Stoffregen from 2001-2007. The HFRL was founded by Dr. Peter Hancock, who was its director from 1995 - 2001.