Students studying psychology will have access to a wide range of laboratory equipment used in psychological research. The purpose of this is to widen students’ knowledge of the technical aspects of psychological research, and to enhance the learning experience by giving them the hands-on opportunity to develop their skills in preparation for their final year independent research projects.
There are currently three dedicated laboratories with up-to-date research technologies for Psychology. These include an observation laboratory, a cognition laboratory and a neuroscience laboratory. There has recently been a large investment in the psychology laboratories, including the purchase of eye-tracking glasses and new face-reader software.
The observation laboratory
This laboratory comprises a large room with cameras and 2-way mirrors and an adjoining observation room. This laboratory hosts two ceiling- mounted video cameras, and boundary microphones, controlled by new video-editing software. The department also has sophisticated software (observer) to enable quantitative coding of observations. A full range of research projects that involve observations of group/dyadic interactions using a range of equipment are carried out in this laboratory.
The neuroscience laboratory
The neuroscience laboratory contains a range of equipment to measure physiological responses (i.e. stress response) and brain activity:
- Bio-pac system (used for the acquisition and analysis of physiological data, such as heart rate, respiratory rate, galvanic skin response).
- Neuroscan (software and hardware applications for neuroscience research. EEG, ERPs, Source Localization and Functional Neuroimaging, Neuroscan provides complete solutions for a wide range of Neuroscience applications)
- Stim2 (stimulus design and presentation software. Can be used alone to run experiments, or can be used to trigger neuroscan)
- Face-reader (software that enables examination of pupil dilation and facial muscles to determine emotional expression)
The cognition laboratory
The cognition laboratory houses five sound-attenuated cubicles and is used to run cognitive experiments using a variety of software and equipment including:
- E-prime (experiment generation and millisecond precision data collection through data handling and processing, E-Prime is the most powerful and flexible experiment generator available)
- Eye-tracking glasses (which enable the examination of a person’s viewing of a static or dynamic visual scene)