Project Description

My lab in the Institute for Communication Research has a variety of projects ongoing. All of them focus on how biometric data collected while people watch and listen to media messages can help us better understand how humans pay attention to the messages and how the media makes us feel emotionally. Common biometric measures collected are heart rate, skin conductance, facial muscle activation, and eye tracking. I will work with my CEWIT apprentice to select the best project to match their interest. Some current projects include: a. The Impact of Party Music on Attention and Emotion--This study looks at how songs that people self-identify as being associated with "partying" affects attention and emotional response compared to other types of music. Students interested in this study will be involved in analysis of data that has already been collected and creation of conference submissions. b. Facial emotion in singers: In collaboration with colleagues from the Jacobs School of Music, this study explores real-time facial activity in professional singers as they try to communication particular emotions with their voices. Students working on this study will learn to collect biometric data from volunteer subjects and help analyze it for conference submission. c. Effects of Sound Effects on Reactions to Audio Ads: This study explores the impact of different levels of sound effects in radio ads on listener attention, excitement, and emotional response. This project is at the very early stages, so an apprentice would be involved with identifying stimuli, experimental design and data collection. Data analysis may not take place this academic year...but we will try!

Technology or Computational Component

Students will use Windows-based software in any of the projects listed. They are expected to be able to be instructed on how to use this software and work toward being able to execute tasks themselves.