October 2018 – Planning and progress

In October a lot of progress was made, and I am getting closer to having the experiment ready to pilot.

Stimuli

I have finally completed the stimuli recordings in early October.

Now the intern, Anna, is making the final audio files and also the comprehension questions and answers that will be presented after every 3-4 minutes of audio.

Experiment script

Even though I had started programming the experiment in psychopy, I decided to use the existing MATLAB script made by Hugo Weissbart in my previous lab, in order to save time. This has been proven a wise choice as I am close to running this script in the lab now. I have started working on the MATLAB script on my office computer and I ran into software and hardware issues, so I thought I would try to test the script in the lab. In the lab I didn’t have these issues and the script ran further. Then I decided to work on the script only in the lab, as it will need to be running properly there anyway.

Behavioral study

In a productive meeting with Sonja and Ben, we decided to run the behavioral study after the EEG study and use exactly the same stimuli as in the EEG study. In this way we will have a measurement of beat placement accuracy for each sentence (or auditory segment) that the participants will hear in the EEG recordings. We also had a subsequent meeting with our collaborator Thanassis Lykartsis in Berlin, and we agreed on the time line of the next steps. By mid November I will send Thanos and Ben the audio stimuli of the EEG experiment, so that they can ran the beat trackers and find the beat onsets in the audio signal.

Teaching

I held my first group mentor meeting in early October, which went better than I had anticipated. The students were motivated to discuss in groups about learning practices, which ones help them the best. Also, they were willing to reflect on experiences that helped them realize what helps them study more effectively. They came up with a couple of pieces of advice for themselves, which they wrote on the board. Here they are:

I also had my first meeting with the Writing Skills group, in which I helped the students make their questions more suitable for a scientific study, in the form of literature review. The questions needed to be specific enough and well formulated, in order to give a good directive on the content of the review. Even though I stated preference to supervise students in topics related to language processing, 4 out of 9 students were interested in other topics, such as Drugs and the Brain. I gave them the freedom to write about what they are interested in, but acknowledged the fact that I cannot provide academic feedback on the content. However, as this is a writing skills course, the most important task is to learn how to write and I am strongly confident that I can help them with this task.

Social media presence

I will be contributing to sharing BAND-LAB news into facebook and twitter, as agreed in a meeting with Xan and Alex at the end of October, both members of the BAND-LAB. I am looking forward to sharing our news, publications, calls for subjects, projects for students, or even just fun lab outing pictures.

Other fun stuff

On October 10th, the BAND-LAB visited the local vineyard called De Apostelhoeve and had a tour of the vineyard and wine tasting. They produce only white wines and have a small production. The flavors were beautiful. Here is a collage of casual pictures.

Rosie had a flower on October 2nd, when we turned on the heating and she thought that it was going to be summer again. I am happy I captured it, because it wasn’t there on the next day. Here it is.

Dat was het voor oktober.

KDK

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