Equipment and facilities
The School of Psychology is housed in the Dorothy Hodgkin building at the centre of campus. Nestled among the lecture theatre, teaching laboratories, staff offices and lab spaces at the centre of the School of Psychology, there are shared spaces for socialising and studying.
The School is well-resourced, and our laboratories house state-of-the-art equipment for research involving adults and children, including EEG, eye-tracking, virtual reality, observational studies, physiological recordings, and a well-resourced suite of labs for qualitative and social media research.
The Dorothy Hodgkin building is home to a range of state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities. As well as a range of well-equipped laboratories, we have many teaching rooms to facilitate our students' learning.
The recently refurbished lecture theatre is based at the centre of the building and is also one of the largest on campus, accommodating approximately 230 students. We have two large teaching laboratories and a range of seminar rooms. As well as a student resource room, which is a communal space for students (with kitchen facilities and computers for independent and small group study), we also have a range of independent student study rooms which students can book to use for research purposes or independent study.
We have a state-of-the-art EEG laboratory with a 72 channel Biosemi Active Two System and the ability for simultaneous eye-tracking, pupillometry, and galvanic skin response (GSR) measurements for both adult and infant participants. This is housed in a sound-attenuated and air-conditioned laboratory suite with post-experiment washing up facilities. There are dedicated data processing workstations with Matlab and GPUs for parallel processing and simulations. For perception experiments, the laboratory is equipped with high refresh rate (240Hz) monitors, high-end graphics cards, a photometer/colorimeter, mirror stereoscopes, chin rests, response pads, and an AudioFile device (Cambridge Research Systems) for synchronised audio-visual presentations.
We have a NeuroConn DC Stimulator Plus which we use for transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), direct current stimulation (tDCS), or Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS). We also have a Magstim Transcranial Magnetic Stimulator (TMS) which we can use for more focal cortical stimulation.
Keele Psychology has three laboratories capable of eye-tracking and pupillometry in a range of contexts and coupled with physiological monitoring and stimulus presentation devices.
High-resolution fixed eye-tracking
Our Eyelink 1000 Plus eye-tracker allows high precision 1000Hz tracking of eye positions, eye movements, and pupil size in a standard fixed lab setup.
We have several mobile eye-tracking facilities to facilitate research in more ecologically valid contexts or for eye-tracking during social interaction. These include 2 x Pupil Labs Core eye-tracking glasses, 1x Pupil Labs Invisible as well as a set of SMI eye-tracking glasses.
EEG fixation monitoring
The Cambridge Research Systems LiveTrack system in the Brain Electrophysiology Laboratory allows for simultaneous eye-tracking and pupillometry with EEG/ERP.
We have two video observation suites housed within the School of Psychology. Both video observation suites have one-way mirrors to enable observation of participants during tasks/experiments. One of the observation labs is equipped with fully-digital audio and video recording capabilities. This includes 4 x ceiling-mounted H.264 Panasonic PTZ cameras, 1 x 4K portable floor camera for ground-level recording and ceiling-based microphones. Experimenters in the control room can monitor recording with a 4K multiviewer, record to USB, and engage in two-way communication with participants through the audio system.
DH1.46 meeting room
The meeting room seats up to eight people around a central table. There is a large screen on one wall for displaying video data or other visual material. The screen has connections to a PC set up on a separate desk in the corner of the room and for a laptop to be connected. This makes it a useful space for small group teaching, planning meetings, discussions and informal presentations.
DH1.46 has a specially designed speaker system to optimise the playback quality of spoken interaction. Additionally, there are six headphone ports arranged around the edge of the room to permit up to six users to listen to the same source material through headphones at the same time. This makes it a brilliant venue for small data sessions and collaborative analysis meetings.
DH1.47 analysis lab
The analysis lab is right next door to the meeting room. It is sometimes used as a breakout room for practical exercises during training sessions. There is space for five people to work in the analysis lab at any one time. The lab contains three PC computers and one Mac computer. Both staff and students can book time on these computers for conducting individual or group analysis. They are particularly useful for editing digital audio and video data. The lab is also useful as a temporary office space for research staff working on QRL / DRT research projects.
The school has extensive on-campus facilities for Virtual Reality Research. This allows researchers to build virtual scenarios to study social interactions, study scene perception, present users with stimuli that may otherwise be dangerous (e.g., the top of a high building); develop immersive environments to study their effect on human behaviour and feelings; and many other applications.
We currently have:
- HTC Vive Pro Eye (with eye-tracking capabilities)
- 2x Oculus Quest 2
- 1x Oculus Rift S
- Go Pro Max 360 for filming in 360 degrees at high resolution for creating virtual environments
- We also have access to 3D scanning facilities and an immersive CAVE environment through the Keele Virtual Reality & Interaction Lab which is a joint venture between Psychology and other Schools within the Faculty of Natural Sciences.
- The laboratory has a dedicated space with high-performance computers and video cards for VR experiments and scenario development.
The psychophysiology laboratory enables the recording of a range of physiological signals during a range of cognitive, social, and other tasks. The BIOPAC MP36R is a four-channel data acquisition system for life science research. The system features built-in universal amplifiers that can record a wide range of physiological signals, a stimulator, audio output, external trigger and digital I/O lines, and is suitable for a wide variety of physiology and life science research applications.
Our social media laboratory has facilities for the analysis of social media conversations and interactions. The lab has a large interactive screen, computers, and a meeting table.
Our child-friendly laboratory is furnished with child-friendly soft furniture to facilitate observational research with children and parents. This room also has a one-way mirror to allow the experimenter to observe from another room.
Staff and students have access to a wide store of research equipment which includes items such as:
- Neuropsychological test library
- Black Box Toolkit & Robotic Response Key Actuator
- CamNTech activity monitors for remote physiological monitoring
- Polar RS400 wristwatch and chest strap heart rate monitors
- Re-circulating water bath and refrigeration unit
- Lion Alcolmeter 500 Breathalyzer - The breathalyzer analyses deep lung air using fuel cell technology which ensures highly accurate results for alcohol whilst eliminating cross-reaction of other substances.
- Mirror drawing apparatus
- And a wide range of other small equipment
Staff and students projects in Psychology are supported by two full-time Psychology technicians with expertise in using specialist psychology equipment and software. The wider Keele IT team can support day-to-day IT needs as well as specialist computing facilities to support staff and student research projects (e.g., high-performance computing).