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Facilities

Our lab has access to an outstanding combination of facilities and resources: state-of-the-art neuroimaging and eyetracking facilities, the usual network of high-speed computers for modeling and data analysis, and access to a large undergraduate subject pool and other subject populations (e.g. children with dyslexia or specific language impairments).

Lab rooms and offices are concentrated in the UW Psychology Building (WJ Brogden Hall) at 1202 W Johnson St. On the sixth floor, we have a suite of large rooms used primarily for offices (for graduate students, research assistants, visitors). The high-speed multiprocessor linux machines that we use for computational modeling are also housed there, along with the usual range of peripherals. Professors MacDonald's and Seidenberg's offices are located on the fifth floor. On the second floor, we have two rooms for running human subjects: the first room contains two acoustically isolated chambers, each equipped with an iMac and other equipment for experiments involving spoken responses; the other room houses a network of 10 PCs on which we can simultaneously run up to 9 subjects on various types of non-auditory tasks. We also have ASL Model 501 and 504 eyetracker systems. Some lab members conduct research with infants and young children in the Saffran Infant Learning Lab at the Waisman center.

Through the introductory psych courses, our lab has access to a massive undergraduate subject pool, which greatly facilitates running behavioral experiments (students are given extra credit points if they participate in at least 7.5 hours of experiments). Of course we are also collecting data using non-traditional means, including Mechanical Turk. Prof. Gary Lupyan excels at on-line data collection, and has offered short courses on the topic in the department (we also benefit from his Programming for Psychologists course). The psychology department also provides outstanding support for research, mainly in the form of an excellent administrative staff and several highly competent technical support staff who handle tasks ranging from software development to building research labs.

We conduct our neuroimaging research at two locations. One is the neuroimaging facility at the Waisman Center, a large interdisciplinary research center on campus dedicated to the study of human development, developmental disabilities, and neurodegenerative diseases. In addition to housing a major neuroimaging facility, Waisman provides important services related to the conduct of developmental research, such as help in recruiting children with reading or language impairments. We have also conducted fMRI studies at the Language Imaging Laboratory at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Jeffrey Binder, M.D.is the head of the lab.