This is a photo of Leanne Hirshfield

Leanne Hirshfield

Research Associate Professor

  • Communications

Also teaches in:

  • Mass Communications
  • Communications

Contact Information

Office Location

236 Newhouse 1


  • Ph.D. Tufts University
  • M.S. Colorado School of Mines
  • B.S. Hamilton College

Leanne Hirshfield specializes in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and she has a wealth of experience designing and evaluating various user interfaces. Hirshfield’s research explores the use of non-invasive brain measurement to passively classify people’s mental states in order to enhance usability testing and adaptive system design, and to advance research in communications and new media. She focuses on the use of a relatively new, non-invasive brain imaging device called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). The device is safe, portable, robust to noise and can be implemented wirelessly, making it ideal for research in HCI. Hirshfield also works extensively with EEG, galvanic skin response sensors and eyetracking devices in her lab.

With support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research's Defense University Research Instrumentation Program, Hirshfield runs a state-of-the-art HCI lab, which contains more than $500,000 of non-invasive cognitive, physiological and behavioral measurement devices. This includes a 52-channel fNIRS device from Hitachi Medical (ETG 4000), Advanced Brain Monitoring’s b-alert wireless EEG, a desk-mounted faceLab eyetracker, two wireless galvanic skin response sensors from Affectiva, Morae usability testing software and several computer workstations for use in experiments.

In addition to her basic research, Hirshfield oversees military-oriented research efforts that focus on measuring and predicting trust, suspicion and situational awareness using the lab’s sensors. She also oversees research that explores the potential of brain measurement as a biometric reader for human identification.