Students to present at Society of Neuroscience meeting

Posted: Monday, August 7, 2017

University of Evansville neuroscience students Sarah Dufresne and Brianna Nichols have been selected to present at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, DC, this November.

The two will be presenting the results of their study comparing neuromarketing methodologies.

Dufresne, the lead on the project, was awarded a travel grant by the Faculty for Undergraduate Research. The national competition for grant is very challenging. There are over 200 applicants for 25 grants, and in order to be accepted, students need to show excellence in both quality of science and devotion to their project.

Equipment for the study was purchased with funds from a UE Innovation and Reinvestment grant and a Ball Brothers Venture grant.

As part of their study, Dufresne and Nichols used an eye tracker that reads pupil diameter and a devise that reads galvanic skin response (electrical changes in skin conductance) caused by the sympathetic nervous system responding to alarming or alerting stimuli. The students compared responses to the same stimuli and ran a mathematical analysis that allows them to graph one physiological measure against the other.

“This analysis allows researchers to compare results across the measurement technique,” explained Lora Becker, UE neuroscience program director and associate professor of psychology. “Our results are like a comparison of GRE to MCAT scores.”

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