We are an active cognitive neuroscience lab studying motivational influences on attitudes and behavior. We use a variety of behavioral, computational, and neuroimaging (e.g., fMRI) techniques. Our research covers a number of core topics including cognitive control, persuasion, and moral reasoning.

Open-Source Environment

Our workstations and laptops run Ubuntu; our compute cluster runs Red Hat. We use the NeuroDebian repository and a variety of open-source software packages (e.g., FSL, Python, R) to conduct our research and analyze our data.

Open-Source Research Tools

Our ongoing and future projects increasingly adopt best-practices in open science and many of our analysis scripts, code, and data files are hosted on GitHub and the Open Science Framework. We are committed to advancing the field in an open and transparent way.

Asteroid Impact

Our lab develops open-source research tools that let us test complex phenomena in naturalistic environments. Asteroid Impact is a naturalistic, open-source, and fully customizable video game stimulus for experimental behavioral research. The game itself is written in Python and can be deployed on any platform (Linux, macOS, Windows). The game is fully customizable and can be programmed to include a variety of different behavioral tasks. Current game features are not limited to, but include: secondary task reaction time measurement, scoring system, algorithmic difficulty adjustment based on player performance, and a content analysis of every game event with 16ms temporal resolution. Asteroid Impact can interface with TTL signals from both fMRI scanners and psychophysiological systems. Download and use Asteroid Impact in your own lab. If you’d like to contribute new features, let us know!

Reaction Time Validation

Reaction time data quality is contingent on measurement accuracy. Numerous sources of noise add error to reaction time measurements, however these sources of noise, and their corresponding error are almost never tested. How much noise does your computer’s hardware and software add to your reaction time measurements? Do you know?

If you don’t we’ve built a simple and completely open-source tool for you to find out. For about $45, you can build an Arduino microcomputer to measure reaction time error in your experimental hardware and software. We’ve provided everything you need (open source code, open source hardware, and even the schematics) to find out just how accurate your reaction time measurements are. Finally, everything about this project is platform agnostic. You can use the Arduino and code on Linux, macOS, and even Windows.

Research Support

In addition to the research facilities located in The Department of Communication and the fMRI scanner in the Center for Mind and Brain, our lab has the an established infrastructure for analyzing complex datasets. Our technical resources include two nodes in a state-of-the-art computing cluster dedicated exclusively for lab use (Peloton) and several high-performance workstations (miller, corkin, and dennett).

Workstations: miller, corkin, and dennett