Alan Pope

Contact Information

Dr. Alan Pope
Distinguished Research Associate
Crew Systems and Aviation Operations Branch (D318)

NASA Langley Research Center
24 West Taylor St.
Mail Stop 152
Hampton, VA 23681


Dr. Alan Pope is an engineer and psychologist who has been conducting Manned Systems Engineering research as a Research Scientist at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) since 1980. Dr. Pope retired from civil service in 2016 and is currently Distinguished Research Associate at LaRC conducting research with Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) technologies for future human factors applications in cognitive training, system adaptation and human-autonomy teaming. Dr. Pope’s research has developed human response measurement technologies to assess the effects of advanced crewstation concepts on the crew’s ability to perform flight management tasks effectively.  He originated the scientific study of hazardous awareness states in monitoring environments and physiologically-based adaptive automation. He has conducted research and published journal articles and book chapters developing his concept of biocybernetic adaptation since 1995. Dr. Pope holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee (1969) and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Florida (1975). In 1988, he co-founded the Behavioral Medicine Institute in Newport News, Virginia, and engaged in clinical practice there until 2001. Dr. Pope was elected to serve on the Board of Directors, Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 2010 – 2012. He has served as adjunct faculty at three Virginia universities and as Adjunct Research Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Eastern Virginia Medical School 1995 – 2020.

Selected Publications

  1. Muñoz J.E., Quintero L., Stephens C.L., Pope A. (2021) Taxonomy of Physiologically Adaptive Systems and Design Framework. In: Sottilare R.A., Schwarz J. (eds) Adaptive Instructional Systems. Design and Evaluation. HCII 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12792. Springer, Cham.
  2. Muñoz, J. E., Quintero, L., Stephens, C. L., & Pope, A. T. “A Psychophysiological Model of Firearms Training in Police Officers: A Virtual Reality Experiment for Biocybernetic Adaptation”. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 683 (2020).
  3. Napoli, N.J., Demas, M., Stephens, C.L., Kennedy, K.D., Harrivel, A.R., Barnes, L.E. & Pope, A.T. (2020) Activation Complexity: A Cognitive Impairment Tool for Characterizing Neuro-isolation. Nature: Scientific Reports, 10, 3909.
  4. J. E. Muñoz, Alan T. Pope, and Luis E. Velez. “Integrating Biocybernetic Adaptation in Virtual Reality Training Concentration and Calmness in Target Shooting.” Physiological Computing Systems. Springer, Cham, 2016. 218-237. (2019).
  5. J. E. Muñoz, Stephens, C. L., Alan T. Pope, and Luis E. Velez. “Modeling Biocybernetic Adaptation Through Feedback Control Systems Principles: Implications in Human-Computer Interaction and Virtual Reality Implications. In The Second Neuroadaptive Technology Conference (p. 39). (2019).
  6. Stephens, C., Dehais, F., Roy, R. N., Harrivel, A., Last, M. C., Kennedy, K., Pope, A. (2018).
    Biocybernetic Adaptation Strategies: Machine Awareness of Human Engagement
    for Improved Operational Performance, in D. D. Schmorrow and C. M. Fidopiastis (Eds.): Augmented Cognition: Intelligent Technologies, LNAI 10915.
  7. Harrivel, A., Heinich, C., Milletich, R., Comstock, R., Stephens, C., Last, M. C., Napoli, N., Abraham, N., Toro, K., Kennedy, K., Pope, A. “Comparative EEG Sensor Analysis For Attentional State Prediction,” Aerospace Medical Association 89th Annual Scientific Meeting, Dallas,TX, May 7, 2018.
  8. Harrivel, A., Milletich, R., Stephens, C., Heinich, C., Napoli, N., Last, M. C., Pope, A. “fNIRS Feature Importance for Attentional State Prediction,” 2nd International Neuroergonomics Conference, Philadelphia, PA, June 29, 2018.
  9. Angela R. Harrivel, Chad L. Stephens, Robert J. Milletich, Christina M. Heinich, Mary Carolyn Last, Nicholas J. Napoli, Nijo Abraham, Lance J. Prinzel, Mark A. Motter, and Alan T. Pope. “Prediction of Cognitive States during Flight Simulation using Multimodal Psychophysiological Sensing”, AIAA Information Systems-AIAA Infotech @ Aerospace, AIAA SciTech Forum, (AIAA 2017-1135).
  10. Angela R. Harrivel, Charles Liles, Chad L. Stephens, Kyle K. Ellis, Lance J. Prinzel, and Alan T. Pope. “Psychophysiological Sensing and State Classification for Attention Management in Commercial Aviation”, AIAA Infotech @ Aerospace, AIAA SciTech Forum, (AIAA 2016-1490)
  11. Pope, A.T., Stephens, C.L., Gilleade, K. (2014). “Biocybernetic Adaptation as Biofeedback Training Method”, and invited Foreword in book, “Advances in Physiological Computing”, Springer London.
  12. Stephens, C.L., Scerbo, M.W., & Pope, A.T. (2012) Adaptive Automation for Mitigation of Hazardous States of Awareness. In P. Desmond, G. Matthews, & P. Hancock (Eds.) Handbook of Operator Fatigue. Hants, UK: Ashgate Publishing.
  13. Neilson, B. N., Stephens, C.L. & Pope, A.T. (2012). Psychophysiological and Performance Effects of Commercial Brain-Computer Interface Technology. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 37, 4, 309.
  14. Pope, A.T., & Prinzel, L.J. (2005). Recreation-Embedded State Tuning for Optimal Readiness and Effectiveness (RESTORE) for the Psychological Challenges of Long-Duration Space Missions.  Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction – Volume 11 – Foundations of Augmented Cognition, July 2005.
  15. Prinzel, L.J., Freeman, F.G., Scerbo, M.W., Mikulka, P.J., & Pope, A.T. (2003). The Effects of a Psychophysiological System for Adaptive Automation on Performance, Workload, and the Event Related Potential P300 Component. Human Factors, 45(4). 601-613.
  16. Pope, A.T. and Palsson, O. (2002). Converging Technologies for Physiological Self-regulation. In Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information Technology and Cognitive Science, NSF/DOC-sponsored report edited by Roco, M.C. and Bainbridge, W.S., National Science Foundation: Arlington, Virginia. 231 – 239.
  17. Prinzel, L.J., Pope, A.T., & Freeman, F.G. (2002). Physiological Self-regulation and Adaptive Automation.  International Journal of Aviation Psychology, 12(2), 181-198.
  18. Pope, A.T. & Palsson, O.S. (2001). Helping Videogames “Rewire Our Minds”. Invited Paper, 2001 Arts & Humanities in Public Life Conference: “Playing by the Rules: The Cultural Policy Challenges of Video Games”. University of Chicago, October 26, 27, 2001.
  19. Prinzel, L.J., Pope, A.T., Freeman, F.G., Scerbo, M.W., & Mikulka, P.J. (2001).  Empirical analysis of EEG and ERPs for psychophysiological adaptive task allocation.  NASA Technical Memorandum TM-2001-211016.
  20. Prinzel, L.J., Pope, A.T., & Freeman, F.G., (2001).  Application of physiological self-regulation and adaptive task allocation techniques for controlling operator hazardous states of awareness.  NASA Technical Memorandum TM-2001-211015.
  21. Prinzel, L.J., Freeman, F.G., Scerbo, M.W., Mikulka, P.J., & Pope, A.T. (2001).  The efficacy of psychophysiological measures for implementing adaptive technology. NASA Technical Memorandum TM-2001-211018.
  22. Prinzel, L.J., Freeman, F.G., Scerbo, M.W., Mikulka, P.J., & Pope, A.T. (2000). A Closed-Loop System for Examining Psychophysiological Measures for Adaptive Task Allocation.  International Journal of Aviation Psychology. 10(4), 393-410.
  23. Palsson, O.S. and Pope, A.T. (1999). Thermal Biofeedback: Clinical Applications and Potential for Pilot Stress Counter-Response Training. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Paper No. 99-3501.
  24. Pope, A.T., and Bogart, E.H. (1996) Extended Attention Span Training System: Video Game Neurotherapy for Attention Deficit Disorder.  Child Study Journal, 26, no. 1, 39-50.
  25. Pope, A.T., Bogart, E.H., and Bartolome, D. S. (1995). Biocybernetic System Evaluates Index of Operator Engagement in Automated Task. Biological Psychology, 40, 187-195.
  26. Pope, A.T.; and Bogart, E.H. (1993). Identification of Hazardous Awareness States in Monitoring Environments. SAE Technical Paper No. 921136, SAE 1992 Transactions: Journal of Aerospace, Section 1 – Volume 101, pp. 449-457.
  27. Comstock, J. R., Harris, R. I., & Pope, A. T. (1988). Physiological Assessment of Task Underload (No. N89-19846). Hampton, VA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
  28. Pope, A.T. and Bowles, R.L. (1982). A Program for Assessing Pilot Mental State in Flight Simulators. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Paper No. 82-0257, January 1982.


Dr. Pope is inventor on 43 NASA New Technology Reports and 17 U.S. patents to NASA in the fields of physiologically modulated simulations, virtual reality and games, aviation synthetic vision systems, and cognitive state determination and application systems. The NASA patents have resulted in 36 commercialization licenses.

Published Patent Applications:


2017 – Member of the LaRC research team that received the 2017 NASA Group Achievement Award

2013 – NASA Langley Technology Transfer Mentor of the Year Award

2012 – Recipient of NASA Exceptional Service Medal

2006 – NASA Inventions and Contributions Board Certificate of Recognition for NASA Langley Invention of the Year 2005

2006 – DARPA Foundations of Augmented Cognition Award

2000 – Leader of Biocybernetic Team, Recipients of Paul F. Holloway NASA Nonaerospace Technology Transfer Award

2000 – Recipient of NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal

1998 – Recipient of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Contribution to Society Award