A team of psychology majors along with Jason Finley, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology, have spent the academic year utilizing wearable cameras to enhance research on human memory. The group presented their project entitled, “Can Wearable Cameras Stimulate Non-Visual Memory?” at the Midwestern Psychological Association Conference in Chicago on April 20.
“Our SIUE psychology students were instrumental throughout the project, from planning and crafting materials, to troubleshooting the camera, to walking participants around campus and recording data,” said Finley. “They got to experience all the creativity and rigor involved in psychological science.”
Sophia Mohsen, Adrien Vozenilek, Patricia Roberts, Rianna Roush, Justin Pfister and Anna Hendricks were the students leading the charge for the project, testing to see whether or not videos can evoke a sense of reliving and unlock part of memories that the human brain otherwise wouldn’t have access to.
Participants wore a head-mounted GoPro camera as they walked to two locations across campus, where they completed multi-sensory tasks. Two days later, the participants recalled as much as they could, both before and after watching their video (without sound). The video successfully reminded them of smells, as well as thoughts and feelings, and conversations with the experimenter.
“One of the best parts of working on research with Dr. Finley has been getting the chance to see a project go through the stages of being just a crazy concept in our professor’s head to actually running participants and to presenting our results at a conference in Chicago,” said Roush. “As a student in the lab, I felt involved in every aspect of research and know that my opinions counted.”
“Helping create and run this project has been insightful in understanding the complexity of an in-person study, especially one that requires multiple sessions from participants,” added Roberts.
The group collaborated with Maurina Aranda, Ph.D., in the Department of Biological Sciences and Tovia Black at the Center for Spirituality and Sustainability to execute the project.
The School of Education, Health and Human Behavior prepares students in a wide range of fields, including public health, exercise science, nutrition, instructional technology, psychology, speech-language pathology and audiology, educational administration, and teaching and learning. Faculty members engage in leading-edge research, which enhances teaching and enriches the educational experience. The School supports the community through on-campus clinics, outreach to children and families, and a focused commitment to enhancing individual lives across the region.