I spent the final part of my research preparing the experiments explained in the second post. The results of our shape similarity experiments in post 1 could not be depended on as luminance values for stimuli and display were poorly calibrated. In response, we purchased and utilized tools to calibrate the display monitor and the luminance of the stimuli for our emotional priming experiments. I ran through the first two behavioral experiments and preliminary results seem to support our hypotheses. Trials with repeat priming are faster than those with no priming across each SOA and within each context. We will begin running our experiments in the coming weeks as SONA opens up.
Over the course of the summer, I have learned, practiced and mastered techniques for the proper use of equipment, and collection and analysis of data. I have become well versed in operating, and maintaining EEG equipment, and preparing participants for study. Our results are dependent on participants following strict instructions on acceptable actions during data collection such as avoiding excessive head movements or saccades. In order to monitor this, I learned how to spot such actions in the live EEG data.
A large amount of the summer was spent learning how to use the analysis programs to gain results from our data. Though I am definitely not an expert in using SPSS or Analyzer2, I learned several fundamental statistical and mathematical methods to look at our data, extract elicited ERPs, and measure our results. I also had the responsibility of coding the six experiments in our future study. The learning curve was not too steep as the programing language, Presentation, has similar aspects to other languages like I have worked with like MatLab, java, and python. Debugging the code proved to be difficult but I have been able to fully test my experiments for errors.
Though the summer yielded no publishable results, I cherish the skills I have gained and I look forward to running the emotional priming experiments in the coming weeks. Also, there will be new members joining the research lab and I will have the opportunity to train some of them.