Benjamin Lester
Benjamin Lester, Ph.D.
Scientist
Human Factors & Industrial Engineering
  • Phoenix

Dr. Lester is a cognitive psychologist with expertise in human cognition, perception, attention, and information processing. He has performed research in several populations including adults, aging adults, and aging adults with reduced cognitive functioning. His expertise has also been applied to investigate questions in simulated and naturalistic driving environments, where he examined the impact of aging on driving behavior, on-road distractibility, gaze measurement, and human interaction with in-vehicle technologies. Dr. Lester’s research has employed a variety of measures of information processing and psychological function such as behavior, eye-tracking, electrophysiology, and clinical measurements of cognitive function.

Dr. Lester’s applied research has examined the impact of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) on driver performance and situational awareness. This research tested and developed several hybrid in-vehicle alerting/assistance systems to investigate how driver age and cognitive status might interact with on-road technologies, with the aim of understanding how such systems might be optimized to maximize safety gains across the lifespan. Additional research programs have examined how laboratory measurements of cognitive workload and attentional control can be used to predict safety gains and system acceptance in certain drivers. 

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Lester completed his Ph.D. at the University of Oregon, where he focused on visual perception and spatial processing. His dissertation investigated attentional and neural processes of how humans organize and perceive their spatial environment. Following graduate school, he completed post-doctoral training at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in the Division of Neuroergonomics in the Department of Neurology.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of Oregon, 2013
  • M.S., Psychology, University of Oregon, 2009
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Iowa, 2007
  • Post-doctoral Research Scholar, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, 2013–2015

    Graduate Fellowship, Institute of Neuroscience: Systems Physiology Training Program #5 (T32 GM007257-33), National Institutes of Health, 2009–2010

Publications

Lester BD, Hashish R, Kim R, Moorman H, Hildebrand E, Schwark J, Rauschenberger R, Young D. Mobile device usage influences gaze patterns to obstacles during locomotion. The Industrial & Systems Engineering Research Conference, 2016.

Lester BD, Sager LN, Dawson J, Hacker SD, Aksan N, Rizzo M, Kitazaki S. Pilot results on forward collision warning system effectiveness in older drivers. 8th International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driving Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design, 2015.

Lester BD, Hacker SD, Vecera S, Rizzo M. Serialization of behavior during car following in aging drivers. 8th International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driving Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design, 2015.

Aksan N, Sager L, Lester BD, Hacker S, Dawson J, Anderson SW, Rizzo M. Effectiveness of a heads-up adaptive lane deviation warning system for middle-aged and older adults. 8th International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driving Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design, 2015.

Dassonvile P, Lester BD, Reed SA. An allocentric exception confirms an egocentric rule: A comment on Taghizadeh and Gail (2014). Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2014; 8:942. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.000942.

Lester BD, Dassonville P. The role of the right superior parietal lobule in processing visual context for the establishment of the egocentric reference frame. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2014; 26:2201–2209. doi: 10.1162/jocn_a_00636.

Lester BD, Dassonville P. Shifts of visuospatial attention do not cause the spatial distortions of the Roelofs effect. Journal of Vision 2013; 13:1–15. doi: 10.1167/13.12.4.

Lester BD, Dassonville P. Attentional control settings modulate susceptibility to the induced Roelofs effect. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics 2011; 73:1398–1406. doi: 10.3758/s13414-011-0123-9.

Lester BD, Vecera, S. Visual prior entry for foreground figures. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 2009; 16:654–659. doi: 37.3758/PBR16.4.654.

Presentations


Hashish R, Lester BD, Koehring J, Mulliken AD, Perlmutter S, Young D. Texting affects gait metrics associated with slips, trips, and falls. The Industrial & Systems Engineering Research Conference, 2016.

Lester BD, Vecera S, Rizzo M. Brain aging increases the “stickiness” of attention. Annual Meeting of the American Neurological Association, 2014.

Lester BD, Vecera S. Attentional disengagement becomes “sticky” during active listening. Object Perception, Attention, and Memory, 2014.

Lester BD, Vecera S, Rizzo M. Executive functioning can mediate age-related changes in oculomotor attentional disengagement. Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting, 2014.

Lester BD, Reed S, Dassonville P. Susceptibility to surround suppression is modulated by a single factor the systemizing trait of autism. Vision Science Society Annual Meeting, 2012.

Lester BD, Hacker SD, Vecera S, Rizzo M. Increasing attentional adhesion – occupying executive working memory delays visuospatial attentional disengagement. Object Perception, Attention, and Memory, 2013.

Lester BD, Dassonville P. TMS reveals a right parietal role in processing visuospatial contextual information in a perceptual illusion. Cognitive Science Association for Interdisciplinary Learning, 2011.

Lester BD, Dassonville P. The modulation of illusion susceptibility by TMS in right SPL demonstrates its role in the processing of global, but not local, contextual information. Vision Science Society Annual Meeting, 2011.

Lester BD, Dassonville. TMS reveals a right parietal role in processing visuospatial contextual information in a perceptual illusion. University of Oregon Graduate Research Forum, 2011.

Lester BD, Drew T, Vogel EK. Electrophysiological evidence of suppression of irrelevant information in visual working memory. Vision Science Society Annual Meeting, 2010.

Lester BD, Dassonville P. TMS reveals a right parietal role in processing visuospatial contextual information in a perceptual illusion. Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, 2010.

Lester BD, Dassonville P. Asymmetric visual displays cause the induced Roelofs illusion, not spatial shifts of attention. Cognitive Science Association for Interactive Learning Annual Meeting 2009.

Lester BD, Dassonville P. Attentional filtering modulates the induced Roelofs effect, but shifts of attention do not cause it. Vision Science Society Annual Meeting, 2009.

Lester BD, Dassonville P. Attentional capture modulates the induced Roelofs effect. Cognitive Science Association for Interactive Learning Annual Meeting, 2008.

Lester BD, Hecht LN, Vecera SP. Visual prior entry for foreground figures. Object Perception, Attention, and Memory, 2007.

Invited Presentations

Lester BD, Rauschenberger R. Human Factors of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). Arizona ITE/IMSA, Phoenix, AZ, 2016.


Professional Affiliations

Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

The Psychonomic Society


Additional Information

Peer Reviewer

Attention, Perception & Psychophysics

Psychological Science

Consciousness & Cognition

Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology

Neuroscience Letters

Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease

Traffic Injury Prevention

Knowledge

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of Oregon, 2013
  • M.S., Psychology, University of Oregon, 2009
  • B.A., Psychology, University of Iowa, 2007
  • Post-doctoral Research Scholar, Department of Neurology, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, 2013–2015

    Graduate Fellowship, Institute of Neuroscience: Systems Physiology Training Program #5 (T32 GM007257-33), National Institutes of Health, 2009–2010