Research in the Perception Lab is currently focused on the following topics:
1. Promoting health among university students:
a) Binge drinking rates tend to be high among university students. We are testing an online intervention to reduce binge drinking.
b) There are many health initiatives offered on campus, but they are not always well attended. We are developing and testing an interactive, in-person, approach to increasing awareness of these initiatives and encouraging participation.
2. Responses to breastfeeding:
Our lab is really interested in the idea that although attitudes towards breastfeeding are generally positive, reactions to seeing breastfeeding are often negative. For this reason, this topic area is ideal for testing a variety of research questions. Some of the questions that we are actively working on include:
a) Since negative reactions to breastfeeding can have an impact on breastfeeding duration rates, it is important to find ways to minimize or decrease such reactions. We are testing various ways to improve comfort levels with seeing breastfeeding.
b) We are using eye-tracking technology to determine whether self-reported discomfort with a subject area (in this case, breastfeeding) can be detected in the patterns of eye movements that people make.
c) We are investigating whether discomfort impacts how people encode information that is paired with images of breastfeeding; this research has important implications for how breastfeeding can be best promoted.
d) We are testing whether negative emotions or minuscule changes in facial expressions are more readily detected by breastfeeding mothers than non-breastfeeding mothers.
3. Perception and action:
Our lab is generally interested in the relationship between perception and action. Some of the questions we are exploring include:
a) How do proprioceptive illusions (e.g., Fake Hand Effect) impact action?
b) How do actions influence the way that we perceive our surroundings?