SMMI – EPSRC Summer Bursaries 2014
July 14, 2014
by Rosie Hoare
Rosie Hoare – ‘Decision-making in Complex, Multi-scale Displays’
I have just completed my second year on the Psychology BSc program. During my second year I worked with my supervisor on a number of eye-tracking experiments through the Psychology department’s Voluntary Research Assistant scheme (VRA). I learnt a great about visual search and attention research during lectures and through the VRA scheme. I found the subject fascinating and I was thrilled when I received the IDR Vacation Bursary and the opportunity to do research over summer.
This summer I am working on a visual search experiment where participants can zoom in and out to search for objects in a complex, cluttered display. I am examining how searching in displays of the type is influenced by target prevalence. Target prevalence refers to how often a target is presented to participants in a visual search, and it has been found that if a target item appears less often, then participants are more likely to miss that item when searching. This is an important factor to consider in complex, real-world displays such as those in the operation rooms of ships, where indicators of danger may be rare and difficult to detect.
Looking to the future, for my third year research project, I am hoping to examine behaviour in an eye tracking task, though I am not quite sure in which specific area, but I am confident that my summer of research in the psychology department will give me some ideas. I have already gained valuable skills in carrying out a literature review and collecting data, and these are skills that will be vital in my next year’s studies and research project. I am also exploring potential routes that will enable me to engage in postgraduate study.