CBU Scientists Take Minneapolis By Storm

Three students, two alumni, and one faculty member represented CBU at two research conferences in Minneapolis in late September. The sextet combined to present two posters and one 50-minute talk.

At the annual meeting of the international Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR), CBU alumni Lauren Dahlke (Psychology ’16) and Daniel Gabriel (Natural Science ’16) presented “Emotional images reduce the N1 to auditory distractors.” James Rogers (Psychology ’17), Jamonté Wilson (Psychology ’15), and Dr. Jeff Sable (Behavioral Sciences) were also co-authors of the poster. Andrea Perez-MuñozPatrick Woody, and Rogers (all Psychology ’17) presented “N1 to distractor tones is affected by tone salience and primary task difficulty.” Wilson and Sable were also co-authors of this poster

Sable, Woody, Dahlke, EhrmantrautThe following week, Dahlke, Gabriel, and Sable joined Brother Dominic Ehrmantraut (Director of Mission and Special Assistant to the President) at the annual International Symposium on Lasallian Research. Dahlke, Gabriel, and Sable gave a presentation entitled “Distractibility: What we are learning from the brain about competition for our attention.” It was listed under the Educational Innovation theme—one of the research themes identified by the International Association of Lasallian Universities. Rogers, Woody, and Perez-Muñoz were also co-authors of this presentation.

All three presentations were based on student collaborations with Dr. Sable in the CBU Cognitive Neuroscience Lab, using equipment purchased with a Major Research Instrumentation award from the National Science Foundation. The researchers focused on a brain response called the N1 that reflects automatic attention. They measured this response to examine factors that influence distractibility.

Students also took on several responsibilities at the conferences. Gabriel volunteered to coordinate an initial effort to organize the grants and research coordinators of the seven universities in the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN). Gabriel, Rogers, Woody, and Sable joined the SPR Committee to Promote Student Interests, including the Primarily Undergraduate Institution (PUI) subcommittee.

Perez-Muñoz, Rogers, and Woody will be the first students to complete the new cognitive neuroscience minor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at CBU. Dahlke and Gabriel are currently graduate students in psychology at the University of Memphis.

Sable also co-authored a poster at the SPR meeting with faculty members from Salisbury University, the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Pennsylvania State University-Erie, and Swarthmore College entitled, “Infrastructure and resources for research at primarily undergraduate institutions.” CBU has become a national leader in engaging undergraduate students in research in the fields of psychophysiology and cognitive neuroscience. Dr. Sable is involved in efforts to enhance communication and information sharing among schools that engage undergraduates in similar research.