On Tuesday 10th April members of our time lab attended the What's Time? event at Google Digital Garage in Manchester. The event was organised by the Institute of Physics in conjunction with The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) the Manchester Time Lab and Google.
The event kicked off with two musicians from RNCM (a piano player and a flautist) playing four very different piece of music. The piano played was the Google Manchester Piano, which displays a different image of Manchester depending on which note is played!
The audience members were asked which piece of music they thought lasted the longest. Dr Michelle Phillips from RNCM then gave a talk about time and music, and the different aspects of a piece of music (and the listener) that can affect the perception of its duration.
Following on from this Dr Luke Jones from our time lab gave a talk which was a general introduction to the field of time perception, followed by a Q & A. Lastly Dr Hannah Renshaw from the Institute of Physics gave a talk on the physics of time.
The event also involved experiments that the people could take part in, one experiment was investigating the perception of the duration of different types of music, the other was exploring people's mental imagery for time. We are very grateful to our PhD student Emily Williams for helping out with the experiments in what turned out to be a very busy evening.
Many thanks to everyone that attended, the lovely friendly people at Google, and all who organised the event.
A very warm welcome to Ms Hui Weng Chong (a.k.a Hailey) who has joined our lab. Hui Wen (Hailey) is a final year MSci Biology student at the University of Manchester, supervised by Dr Luke Jones. Hui Wen has a vast interest in many disciplines of biological research, as seen from her previous summer placements. She was a research assistant in Prof. Wong’s Pathology Lab at University Malaya Medical Centre in 2015 to assist on on-going researches such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Japanese Encephalitis. Later, she worked in Prof. Takano’s Lab to invent a sweat alcohol biosensor ‘AlcoPatch’ as part of the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Competition 2016. Her boldness in trying new things has also led to her first publication in identifying gene polymorphisms associated with Schizophrenia using a bioinformatics approach. Hui Wen’s current core interest revolves around time perception and the effects of modality on perceptual duration judgements in Working Memory.
Congratualtions to our postgraduate student lab memeber Jessica Henderson, who has been employed for a RA post at Liverpool John Moores University. The project is examining sympathetic and parasympathetic activity and the effect it has on time perception. In particular, it hopes to assess if sympathetic activity, induced by stress, leads to over estimation during a time-based task and if parasympathetic activity, induced by mindfulness, attenuates this effect. The project is funded by the Bial Foundation and the grant holder is Dr Ruth Ogden. Jessica is currently completing an MRes Psychology supervised by Dr Luke Jones.
Emily will be at CogSci next week presenting her conference paper 'Modality Differences in Timing: Testing the Pacemaker Speed Explanation' as a poster.
You can find her during Poster Session 3 in the Monarch Suite on Saturday 29th July, 1:20-2:50pm. Look for Poster 111!
You can download a digital copy of the poster using the button below.
We have some very exciting and welcome news this month that we have been awarded a three year grant by the ESRC to investigate timing processes and behaviour in autism. The grant brings together the expertise of our Time Perception Lab, the BEAM Lab and the Manchester Autism Research Group. The project will investigate timing processes from fundamental perceptual time discrimination through to higher order concepts of time and temporality. Our lab member Dr Dan Poole will be the postdoctoral researcher on this thrilling project.
Last night we attended the Sound and Music late event at the Museum of Science and Industry. The event was a great success and was sold out with over 450 people attending.
Dr Michelle Phillips (RNCM) and I (Dr Luke Jones) both gave a talk, along with Peter Saville (founder of Factory Records). We ran two experiments, one examining how the nature of different types of music affect people's perception of duration (people listened to different versions of a unique piece of music that we had commissioned and estimated their durations) , the other experiment examined people's mental imagery for time, we asked people to draw their mental representation of a year, a month, a day and and week. We gave out business cards advertising the lab, and will be posting the results on here in a few weeks time for people to see.
It was really valuable to collect data from a wider population than just undergraduate students, and was a great opportunity to chat to the public and promote our time perception lab, research at the Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology and the University of Manchester in general.
On Wednesday 15th March 2017 we will be contributing to an evening public engagement event at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Manchester. Full details of the event (which includes a talk by founder of Factory Records, Peter Saville and a silent disco) can be found here. Our lab director Dr Luke Jones and our research collaborator Dr Michelle Phillips from the Royal Northern College of Music will be giving a talk, and running two experiments. One experiment will explore how certain parameters of a piece of music affects people perception of its durations. The second experiment will examine people's mental imagery for days, week and months of the year. We will not disclose too many details at this point, but will publish a full report on this blog after the event.
We now have a great new logo for the Time Lab, designed by our PhD student Emily Williams, so we ordered business cards and also a mug and a pen to test out the new design, and we are very pleased with the way they have turned out. The hexagonal design is a homage to the Bee, which is a symbol of Manchester and its industrial past, the colours are from the University of Manchester, and the clock hands explain themselves. Thanks Emily!
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all our followers from all of the members of the Manchester Time Lab! 2016 was a very busy and successful year for the lab, we began a new collaboration with the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music), presented research at the Experimental Psychology Conference in Oxford, the Philosophy conference in Manchester, the Rock and Body conference at the University of Exeter, and gained two new master's students and a PhD student in September. The next event in our calendar is the upcoming EPS workshop on time perception being held at the University of Liverpool next week.
Just before the Christmas break we had our lab Christmas meal, which was lots of fun (photo below). Here's to an exciting and productive 2017!