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 equipment and eye-tracking, observation suites, and a well-resourced suite of labs for qualitative 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 labortatories, 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 stduents. We have two large 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 eyetracking, pupilometry, and galvanic skin response (GSR) measurements. 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 pupilometry in a range of contexts and coupled with physiological monitoring and stimulus presentation devices.
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. Our SMI eye-tracking glasses allow mobile eye-tracking for research more ecologically valid contexts or for social interaction. The Cambridge Research Systems LiveTrack system in the Brain Electrophysiology Laboratory allows for simultaneous eye-tracking and pupilometry with EEG/ERP.
We have two video observation suites housed within the School of Psychology. Both video observation suites have two-way mirrors to enable observation and are equipped with video and audio recording equipment.
DH1.46 Meeting Room
The meeting room seats up to 8 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 6 headphone ports arranged around the edge of the room to permit up to 6 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.
During term time, DH1.46 is regularly used for weekly DRT meetings and for BSc and MSc project supervision meetings. Ad hoc data sessions are also held there on occasions. Staff have been known to use it as a quiet refuge for when they are marking work and students can reserve the room as a place to work with a large table on which to spread out lots of papers and materials.
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 5 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 temporary office space for research staff working on QRL / DRT research projects.
Virtual Reality - VR
The school has a Cyberpsychology and Social Research Laboratory equipped with an HTC Vive VR Headset. The VR set allows users to move around a room and interact using two custom handsets, making the experience highly immersive. Many interactive experiences are available for the Vive and users can interact with a fully 3D playing environment through the equipment. Full-360 videos can also be played, meaning a user can feel like they are actually in a particular environment which will change and respond in real-time as they look around.
The VR set has a number of research applications including:
- Allowing users to visually interact with others not physically present
- Present users with stimuli that may otherwise be dangerous; e.g. the top of a high building for someone with acrophobia
- Provide users with the visual and audio experiences of another person; e.g. a simulation of how a child with autism may view the world
- Examine what effect immersive visual environments have on psychological processes
- Compare how profound the effects of VR environments are, and if they give rise to long-lasting changes, e.g. prejudice reduction
Students have access to a wide store of research equipment which includes items such as:
- BioPac - The BIOPAC MP36R is a four-channel data acquisition system for life science research. The system features built-in universal amplifiers 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.
- Neuropsychological test library
- Black Box Toolkit & Robotic Response Key Actuator
- Polar RS400 wristwatch and chest strap heart rate monitors
- Re-circulating water bath and refrigeration unit
- Lion Alcolmeter 500 Breathalyzer - The breathaylzer 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