Memory and Language Lab
Okay -- I know the link promised pictures of the lab. There are a few on this page. But really,
who wants to see pictures of a (perpetually) messy graduate student office, and a bunch of PCs?
Of far greater interest, I will relate the bizarre history of our lab facility. When the ASU Psychology
building was designed (around 1972), our lab space was originally created for experiments in human
isolation. As a result, we now have a lab with two large, standard rooms (1 for graduate students,
1 for running experiments with groups up to 8 people). But we also have four large, virtually
soundproof booths. These booths were originally supplied with cots, built-in panels that would
display simple signals, and response boxes. Their temperature and humidity can be controlled by
a remote panel in another room.
These booths are excellent for research in speech perception or production. They are quite large
(measuring about 10 x 10 inside), with their own ventilation. But they are also incredibly creepy,
with double doors, and with chambers built into the wall that connect to the outer hallway. Food
could be sent in the top passageway, and a bedpan out the bottom. Thus, the lab is also equipped
with the only toilet-sink I have ever seen:
Creepy hallway with creepy booths... Glamour shot of toilet-sink
The best part of the story? Well, the researcher (who also designed the building) never used the
booths for their original purpose -- he could not get IRB approval for the research. Thus, we also
have a small collection of quite possibly unused bedpans!
Right now, these booths are used rather flexibly. Sometimes we move computers in, running any
experiments that would not work with large groups (e.g., naming). We have one booth configured
for speech file preparation and analysis (using Kay Elemetrics equipment and software). Another is
currently configured for eye-tracking experiments:
Tobii 1750 eyetracking system. (Note: A piece of the
infamous "ass-buzz" chair can be seen on the left!)
In the near future, we plan to leave one booth for data-collection, add more speech-
processing equipment to the one with Kay Elemetrics, and add a second eye-tracker
in a third booth. Finally, if all goes according to plan, we will install an EEG / ERP
station in the final booth, to conduct perception and memory experiments while
recording electrical responses from the brain.