Our testing suite in the Department of Psychology is made up of experimental cubicles used for human research covering everything from eye-tracking to brain stimulation.
We have a scheme set up for first and second year psychology undergraduates where you take part in final year students’ projects. This helps final year students complete their research, whilst introducing you to our equipment and how to use it.
Along with standard PC cubicles, we have specialist equipment and spaces to help you carry out research. This includes:
Brain stimulation – Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Elecroencephalography (EEG), Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
- Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) is a form of non-invasive brain stimulation technique. TES delivers a low-level intensity electrical current targeting brain areas associated with specific cognitive processes. We use Transcranial Direct-Current Stimulation (NeuroConn DC-Stimulator Plus) to deliver low intensity direct electrical currents. This technique can be used to modulate cognitive processes and as a potential treatment tool in neurological and psychiatric disorders. In our department, we are running several projects involving TES with the aim to improve different cognitive abilities such as, face identification and mathematical abilities.
- Our Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) equipment (DuoMAG XT-100) can deliver high and low intensity repetitive brain stimulation in bursts and trains. We also have Brainsight neuronavigation allowing MRI-based or model-based neuronavigation for accurately targeting specific parts of the brain. We use brain stimulation to map brain function and explore the excitability of different regions (e.g., frontal and parietal regions).
- Human electroencephalography (EEG) is capable of recording electric brain activities in real time and is indispensable for cognitive, clinical, social, and affective neuroscience research. The department has five systems, including one BrainProducts system, two Biosemi systems, and two mobile ANT Neuro systems. The Biosemi and ANT Neuro systems can be linked for hyperscanning research (i.e., simultaneously testing two participants during social interactions). Additionally, the mobile systems can also be used outside of any lab space.
- For research using functional and structural neuroimaging data, we have a state-of-the-art scanner (MAGNETOM Lumina XK CPQ-034176 bought with: 32 channels head coil, Neuro fMRI/DTI Package, ASL and Simultaneous Multi-Slice Package). The scanner is equipped with BOLD screen 32 LCD Monitor, eight-button bimanual handheld and MRI-compatible eye-tracking system. It has a wider (70cm) bore system providing participant friendliness and comfort required in research without compromising image quality. Our research programmes include novel techniques and applications for structural and functional neuroimaging techniques to study the brain in health and disease.
Eye tracking – Eyelink 1000+ Static Eye-Trackers, SMI Eye Tracking glasses, SMI Red Desktop Eye Tracker, Ergoneers Dikablis Head-mounted mobile Eye Tracker
An eye tracker is a high functioning video camera that allows us to measure participants’ gaze behaviour while they perform specific tasks. The eye tracking technique does not only inform us of where the participant looks at a specific moment, but the time course of eye movements on a millisecond timescale is also informative about the cognitive processes associated with the task. Material that is harder to process will be looked at longer. Our department has several high-performance stationary eye trackers and portable eye trackers. Stationary eye trackers are used in contexts where the information is very fine grained visually and timewise (studies on reading, visual search and attention) and these are used in a laboratory context. Portable eye trackers allow us to track participants’ gaze behaviour freely during activities, such as playing sports or cooking, with more general precision without the restrictions of a laboratory environment. We are running several projects involving eye tracking. For example, one of our recent projects is looking at whether deception can be detected by looking at participants’ gaze behaviour. Other projects are exploring the use of different visual strategies by experts and novices in different tasks.
- ViRETS Virtual Reality Laboratory - For tracking eye movements in 3D and naturalistic environments