What kinds of projects have our SMP students done?
Prospective PsycSMPs: A past student may have suggested a path for future research that you would like to follow!
Students can visit the College Archives (Calvert 009-ground floor) to read or view past St. Mary's Projects Mondays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (appointments recommended).
Access to a full SMP can depend on how a student completed a release form, but most SMPs can be read or viewed in the College Archives without restriction.
Electronic copies of SMPs are usually provided to faculty and staff upon request, but students are provided electronic copies of SMPs only with the permission of a faculty member.
Ewing, Katie (2010, May). How motion and nonmotion adaptation affects gender recognition.
Mentor: Dr. Eric Hiris
Biological motion is the perception of a human in motion when only points of light are visible to indicate its form and motion. These point light displays, or PLWers, are also able to carry information regarding the walker’s gender. In adaptation aftereffect studies of biological motion, viewing a male walker for an extended period of time results in perceiving subsequently viewed PLWers as female, and viewing a female walker for an extended period of time results in the perception of subsequently viewed walkers as male. One question that this phenomenon raises is whether adaptation is occurring to the sex of the walker, or to its form and motion. In order to answer this question, experiment 1 used biological motion displays and faces as adapting stimuli. The results indicated that an aftereffect was created in response to biological motion adaptation, but not in adaptation to faces. This result supports adaptation to motion or form. However, there may not be enough overlap in neural structures for biological motion and face perception. Thus, experiment 2 used full body images, in the place of faces, as adapting stimuli. For this experiment, no aftereffects were found in response to full body adaptation, nor to biological motion adaptation. Because aftereffects were created in experiment 1, the authors concluded that a problem may have occurred with the observers in which their ability to adapt to the stimuli was interrupted. This research lays the groundwork for using different types of stimuli to study biological motion adaptation.