Research Facilities

Student operating driving simulator in laboratory

UCC’s Driving Simulator Laboratory is also home to the People & Technology Research Group. The lab is well equipped to study the cognitive aspects of driving and has attracted doctoral scholarships from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Road Safety Authority (RSA). The lab consists of a control room where researchers can observe experiments in action and a blacked-out testing room where the simulators are housed.

Full-Size Driving Simulator

Driving simulator 1

This is a full-size, 5-door Volkswagen Polo with force-feedback steering, pedals, a gearstick, tachometer and speedometer. The simulator faces three, 3-metre-diagonal screens angled at 60º to produce a 180º, immersive forward view. A screen placed behind the vehicle projects rear-view images which the driver can view using their rear-view mirror, while two smaller LCD screens display wing-mirror images. STIsim software can be used to create a variety of simulated driving environments, allowing the researcher to manipulate all aspects of the road scene (road layout, signage, cyclists, pedestrians, animals, lighting, weather conditions and other vehicles which interact with drivers’ behavior). As the simulator is housed inside an actual vehicle, the creation of adjunct situations (such as the experience of accompanying passengers) are also possible. The simulator can measure a wide variety of driving variables (speed, reaction time, lane position, pressure placed on individual pedals, etc.) and there is radio equipment which can be used to record verbal responses (e.g. mood evaluation, hazard appraisal, etc).

The full-size simulator is equipped with a SmartEye eye-tracking system. This technology uses 4 remote cameras and infrared flashes to monitor the eye-movements of drivers. These cameras are mounted across the dashboard and allow the driver to move around and drive as they normally would, unrestricted by head-mounted equipment. Information about drivers’ eye-movements (e.g. breadth of scanning, duration of fixations, etc) is often used to achieve a more thoroughunderstanding of driving behavior.

The simulator can also be used in conjunction with other equipment such as our Neuroscan 32-channel EEG/EKG suite.

Portable Driving Simulator

Driving simulator 2

This simulator uses the same STIsim software as the larger vehicle but is entirely portable. The simulation is displayed across three screens and the vehicle is controlled using a desk-mounted steering wheel and a panel of pedals. This simulator can be used outside of the lab and as also useful for researching the driving behavior of disabled populations. STIsim software also provides realistic audio simulation (engine sounds, horns beeping) and these are relayed via speakers inside the vehicle. This can also be used for other purposes (playing music, sat nav instructions, etc).

The BEATS Lab emphasises the psychobiological approach to understanding behaviours, responses to experience, resilience and individual differences. The Lab uses a range of methods, including biological measures and standardised psychological tests. The BioAssay Lab is able to measure hormones in bio-samples, we have specialised equipment to monitor heart rate and blood pressure, and devices that allow measurement of biology and emotions for up to three weeks. The BEATS Lab also conducts research using UCC’s Driving Simulator Lab, where stress can be studied in an immersive, realistic environment.

 

www.beatslab.ucc.ie

The School has recently acquired a state-of-the-art 128-channel Brain Products, active electrode system. This system is used in the laboratory setting to explore the neural correlates of multisensory integration in the ageing brain. This EEG system is also capable of being used in conjunction with the driving simulators to gain a deeper understand of how the driving environment affects cognitive function and performance.

The system is being used for a range of research projects by staff and students. For example, Dr. Annalisa Setti and Dr. Jason Chan use electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate the cortical dynamics between multisensory perception and the lived environment to improve the ageing brain (see www.acmelab.science for projects and publications). 

Picture of Biosignal Lab with Dr. Ciara Staunton, Dr. Sean Hammond and Dr. Mike Murphy

The Biosignal laboratory is a small room housed on the ground floor of the School of Applied Psychology equipped with a comfortable reclining leather chair, computer, lap-top, data-projector, ear-phones, and a PowerLab system (PowerLab 8/30, ADInstruments). The PowerLab is a digital acquisition system (DAS) which is an integrated system of hardware and software designed to record, display and analyse experimental data. Essentially, the DAS is an eight channel recording instrument with built-in front ends that allow optimal recording of biological signals through bioamps and provide safe stimuli for humans (through the isolated stimulator). It provides a multi-purpose data recording and analysis environment for use with a computer running Windows 2000 or XP. Once the PowerLab transfers the data to the computer, the data is available for display, manipulation, printing, storage and retrieval. The PowerLab can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the research with the addition of various accessories such as EEG, EOG, GSR, ECG, etc.

Picture of Psychometric Library and Dr. Raegan Murphy

Below is a list of tests currently held in the Psychometrics test library. Some of these tests cannot be used unless their use is supervised by a member of staff in the School. For research purposes only, you may photocopy answer sheets. Do not use the original answer sheets.

The procedure of requesting and using tests from the test library is detailed below.

  1. Once you have decided that you wish to view/use a you need to send an email to Dr. Raegan Murphy at raegan.murphy@ucc.ie
  2. Do not send emails requesting further information about the tests. You can find out what you need to know about each test listed below by doing a quick internet search. Only emails requesting a test with completed forms attached will be attended to.
  3. You need to send an email requesting a test with the completed request form (see below) at least one week in advance of collecting the test.
  4. You will be notified if the test is currently on loan and a request will be sent to the patron requesting it to be brought back.
  5. A test may only be taken out for two weeks after which a request will be sent asking for it to be returned.
  6. You may either wish to photocopy the necessary information from a test on the dates specified below or take a test out on loan.
  7. Only staff are permitted in the test library and students will be accompanied by a member of staff.
  8. The test library is not physically staffed by anyone. A prior appointment needs to be made in advance for both the loan and return of the test.
  9. You will have to complete the sign-out form in the test library on the day of taking out a test.
  10. Failure to return a test not only jeopardises other students’ work but is inconsiderate and rude. There is zero tolerance for failure to return School property on the date specified when you borrow a test.

  

List of tests currently held in the Psychometrics Test Library

 

  1. Ravens Plus
  2. Advanced Progressive Matrices 1998 Ed.
  3. AAMR Adaptive Behaviour Scales - Residential & Community
  4. Academic Competence Evaluation Scales (ACES)
  5. Adaptive Behaviour Assessment System – Second Edition
  6. Adolescent Coping Scale
  7. BECK Anxiety Inventory BAI
  8. Beck Depression Inventory® (BDI®11)
  9. Behavioural Assessment of Dysexecutive Syndrome
  10. Dean-Woodcock Neuropsychological Battery
  11. Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System
  12. Dementia Rating Scale 2nd Edition
  13. Kaplan Baycrest Neurocognitive Assessment (KBNA)
  14. Neo Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R)
  15. Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)
  16. Rey Complex Figures Test (RCFT)
  17. Rorschach Technique
  18. Speed & Capacity of Language-Processing Test (Baddeley, Emsile, Nimmo Smith) (SCOLP)
  19. Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale - 5th Edition
  20. Stroop Neuropsychological Test
  21. Test of Non Verbal Intelligence (TONI) 3 - Revised Edition
  22. Wisconsin Card Sorting Test
  23. WISC IV (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for children)
  24. WAIS III (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale)
  25. Measures in Health Psychology Portfolio
  26. Kaufmann Brief Intelligence Test

Request Form (to be attached to the email)

 

I, [name] would like to borrow, for two weeks, the following test:

 

......................................................................................................

 

  • ·         I am using the test under the supervision of my FYP/thesis supervisor [name of supervisor].
  • ·         I will return the test to the test library on the due date given to me upon my loan of the test.
  • ·         I will not use original answer sheets and will photocopy the answer sheets for research purposes only.
  • ·         I will return the test in the condition in which I found it.

Sound-proofed individual and group interviewing room with split screen (2 cameras) video recording facilities for training and research purposes.

Sound-proofed individual and group interviewing room with split screen (2 cameras) video recording facilities for training and research purposes.

Students of the MA Applied Psychology (Guidance Counselling) have most of their classes in the Guidance Video/Group Room (CEC ground floor - Room 09B). It is equipped with computer, net access, data projection and multimedia facilities, and also video equipment which is used for counselling and group work skills training. The guidance students have, in addition, exclusive use of the Guidance Resource Room (CEC ground floor - Room G01) which contains three networked PCs and a printer, an offprints collection, and storage for psychometric materials used in the programme. For security purposes, both rooms are fitted with combination locks.

People and Technology Research Group Virtual Reality Lab

Our newely equipped research lab sports a state-off-the-art HTC Vive Virtual Reality system, powered by a high-end Dell Alienware Aurora R6 Desktop. The setup is ideal for Virtual Reality research, bulk data analysis, complex computational tasks, and more.

 

This Page

This page serves as a short Wiki for staff and students hoping to use the Virtual Reality Lab G.09

 

Login Details

Staff and student login details for the VR machine and associated software are available from Aaron Bolger (PhD Student).

Email aaron.bolger@ucc.ie for login details. If you are a student, please CC your supervisor.

 

PC Specifications

Model Alienware Auroroa R6
Processor (CPU) Intel® Core™ i7-7700K Processor (4-Cores, 8MB Cache, Turbo Boost 2.0, Overclocked up to 4.4GHz)
OS Windows 10
RAM 16GB HyperX(R) at 2667MHz
Graphics Care (GPU) NVidia GTX 1080 8GB GDDR5X
Power 850W PSU Liquid Cooled Chassis, w/o ODD

 

Installed Software

  • Unreal Engine 4 - Game Engine
  • Steam - Game Service
  • HTC Vive software
  • Oculus Rift Software
  • ReVive Software - For using Oculus software on the HTC Vive headset
  • KLite Mega Codec Pack

Requests to install specific software can be sent to aaron.bolger@ucc.ie

 

 Resources

Coming soon

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