This afternoon, I'm working with the students in my 4th year seminar in multisensory integration to do an experiment. Based on our work in class, we want to examine the effects of coffee cups on the perception of the coffee. Previous work has examined the type of material and colour of cups, but in our case we are looking at both at the same time. Cups can be ceramic mugs or paper cups, and both can be white or blue. We are recruiting students from Mount Allison University by offering them a free cup of coffee!
Hopefully we will be able to collect a large amount of data, and that this will be a useful exercise for the students in how experiments work in a practical sense. We will be working on analyzing the data as a class as well, and students will be working on writing up the experiment as part of their written evaluation of the class. They will also be writing a reflection on their experience to get a window into how they feel about conducting experiments - I hope they will think of it as a valuable experiential learning experience.
Today was a big day - I successfully defended my dissertation entitled "The dynamics of audio-visual integration capacity as a function of environmental difficulty, stimulus factors, and experience" at Ryerson University! With some minor revisions to come, I have now completed all the requirements of my PhD, which is a real load off!
Many thanks to my supervisor, Dr. Ben Dyson, who flew in for the defense from his current post at the University of Sussex (UK), for all his support and assistance with everything. Special thanks also go to Dr. Laurence Harris (York University) who served as the external examiner for my dissertation and provided highly constructive criticism both before and during the defense. Finally, thanks to the rest of my examination committee, Dr. Maureen Reed (Psychology), Dr. Margaret Moulson (Psychology), Dr. Frank Russo (Psychology), Dr. Stephanie Walsh Matthews (Arts and Contemporary Studies), and Dr. Frankie Stewart (Engineering, Chair).
I'm now looking forward to completing my revisions and looking towards new adventures - and NOT being a student for the first time in about 26 years....
I am very pleased to announce that I am accepting an appointment as the McCain Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology at Mount Allison University. This is a 12-month appointment which provides an opportunity to further my research, while also being appointed to teach courses at the rank of Assistant Professor.
In the Fall 2016 semester, I will be teaching a 3rd-year course in Adulthood and Aging, as well as a 4th-year seminar on Multisensory Processing. I will also be continuing my research into audiovisual integration capacity and the effects of musical training on memory while at Mount Allison.
I can't wait to get settled in Sackville, NB to start this position, and look forward to exploring the maritimes while working in this classic campus setting.
Today a lab project we have been working on for a while was published in Scientific Reports!
The paper examines decision-making processes in playing rock-paper-scissors, revealing that what an individual chooses to play on trial n is influenced by the outcome of trial n-1. If we win a 'throw' of rock-paper-scissors, we tend to stay with the same choice for the next try. If we lose, we tend to 'switch down' - meaning if we threw scissors we switch to paper. If we draw, we tend to 'switch up' - so if we threw scissors, we switch to rock. In all cases, we throw whatever would have beaten (or did beat) our opponent on the previous trial.
This was a project we worked on as a full lab - two grad students, two undergrads, and our supervisor - so we are very happy to see it find a home in a great journal like Scientific Reports!
Jonathan Wilbiks, writing on research developments, teaching achievements, and anything of interest!