Monday, August 3, 2015

Summer Scientist completed

After four and half days testing, Summer Scientist is now over. Thanks to the help of Holly, who will start her third year in psychology in Lincoln in September, we collected data across 159 participants, aged from 3 years onwards.

Figure 1. Stimulus sequence.

The task was to decide for a predefined target (arrows, eyes, or hands), whether they were pointing or looking left or right. Participants were asked to use the computer mouse and reveal the target stimulus (together with a distractor) by clicking on a start button in the bottom of the screen. They were then asked to move the mouse as quickly as possible to the button in the top of the screen indicating the direction of the target (see Figure 1).

For our task, we found that the youngest children had little experience using the computer mouse, suggesting we should use a touch screen in future studies, because every child indicated having used a tablet PC.

This is reflected in Figure 2, showing what number of participants completed the experiment, consisting of a total of 53 decisions (including five to practice).

We also found that accuracy of the response was reduced only for the youngest children, whereas response times kept on improving with age (Figure 3).

After this initial analysis, the focus will now be on examining how the different types of cues (hands, arrows, and eyes) influence response times, accuracy and mouse trajectories.
Figure 2. Gender and age distribution of our participants.

Figure 3. How  accuracy and response times develop with age.

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