Psychological studies involving neuroimaging, such as fMRI and EEG, require stimuli to be presented at very precise time points. Participants are often asked to perform some sort of task while in the scanner (usually using a button box), so their responses and reaction times must be recorded as well. I have created several scripts that handle the presentation and behavioral data collection simultaneously. Most of them are implemented in MATLAB with Psychtoolbox
Below are samples of my work that are being used by the Fedorenko Language Lab at MIT and their collaborators.
I co-authored a few scientific publications for the Fedorenko Language Lab at MIT. You can see my Google Scholar profile here
- Mineroff, Z., Blank, I., Mahowald, K., & Fedorenko, E. (under review). A robust dissociation among the language, multiple demand, and default mode networks: evidence from inter-region correlations in effect size.
- Siegelman, M., Mineroff, A., Blank, I., & Fedorenko, E. (under review). An attempt to replicate a dissociation between syntax and semantics during sentence comprehension reported by Dapretto & Bookheimer (1999, Neuron).
In many psychological studies, a researcher needs to collect data from hundreds of participants in order to achieve adequate statistical power
. Setting up the experiment as an online survey not only makes this much less time-consuming, but reduces the risk of sampling bias. On sites like Amazon Mechanical Turk, your subject pool is not limited to college undergrads who need to participate in studies for Psych 101.
Having a well-designed web page is crucial to acquiring reliable observations. To prevent confounds, it should look as similar as possible across browsers and screen resolutions. Because the researcher is unavailable for questions, task instructions should be clear and navigation should be intuitive. When measuring reaction times to stimuli, trials need to load efficiently to get an accurate start time. Most importantly, the information that gets stored on a server must be secure to prevent leaking identifying information.
I have implemented several such web applications for behavioral experiments. Most of them can be linked to a HIT on Amazon Mechanical Turk, providing an easy way to recruit and reward subjects. Here are some examples.
During my time as a research assistant at MIT, I built the website for the Fedorenko Language Lab
and maintained it with Drupal Cloud
. In addition to providing general information about their research, it acts as a repository for resources that supplement the lab’s publications.
It goes without saying that Disney’s Frozen is among the best movies ever made. I’m working on guitar arrangements for some of the songs. You can find my Guitar Pro arrangement for Frozen Heart on Ultimate Guitar