Oddball Task

Hello!

I hope everyone has been enjoying his or her summer. The first week or so of my research has been going very well! I met with my professors that will be overseeing my research and other fellow researchers who will be also working in the lab this summer.

As I may have previously mentioned, I will be working on a variety of projects this summer having to do with Autism – rather than one specific project. A few of these have been in motion since last semester. I will be helping collecting data and analyzing data. My first task I was presented with was a little intimidating. The lab is in the process of coding and putting together a visual oddball task. In this specific design, participants are presented with a serious of standard stimuli, in this case a serious of emotional faces, and are asked to detect the “odd” one out. This task is able to detect an individual’s selective attention. Sara, the other researcher in the lab, has already been doing a great job coding the task and I continued to help her with this. It was a very daunting job at first – having to go through each emotion block and randomizing the different deviant emotions in order to ensure randomization of the task once it was ready for a run-through.

Partaking in the coding of the oddball task taught me a lot about the steps and all that encompasses creating and coding a particular study. It takes a lot of time and attention to detail to make sure everything runs smoothly and effectively to ensure no mistakes are made to jeopardize the integrity of the study. I am looking forward to implementing this task, running participants, and seeing the results we come up with. The results will take a look at not only attention but also emotion identification, and how both of these components can both affect those with autism. Not many previous studies have examined both of these together in a single task. This will help pinpoint specific strengths and weaknesses individuals with autism have involving their executive function processing.

I am excited to further help out with the progress of this study, and will keep you updated on its advances. Having a chance to do research over the summer is a great way to keep focused on work without other distractions. I am enjoying the quiet work environment, the research facilities, and look forward to the weeks ahead. Thank you for reading!