Hi everyone, Emily here, and I've been invited to write a guest blog post about my recent developments. In the past few months I have submitted my PhD thesis, started a postdoc, and had my first first-author paper published online!
My thesis, Investigating the Pacemaker Component of the Human Timing System, presents three original works that aim to test the 'pacemaker' explanation of timing, put forward by Scalar Timing Theory. You can read the abstract of my thesis by clicking here. I'm looking forward to discussing my work during my Viva in January, and will most likely graduate in July 2019.
In September I started my new role as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Leeds. I'm working on the Helping Handwriting Shine (HHS) programme, the world's largest randomised controlled trial of a handwriting intervention. You can find my new staff page here! My previous outreach and widening participation work led to a firm interest in increasing the educational attainment of young learners, regardless of background. I was interested in this handwriting postdoc because the HHS intervention aims to free up the cognitive resources of slow and effortful handwriters, to help them achieve.
Finally, I am pleased to announce that the first paper from my PhD has been published this week, in Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. You can read the first page of the article, Modality Differences in Timing and the Filled-Duration Illusion: Testing the Pacemaker Rate Explanation, below or read the full version online here (open access).
I'm looking forward to working with Time Lab Manchester in the future as an external collaborator!
Emily A. Williams
Today was a mixture of celebration and sadness as our team member Hailey (Hui Wen Chong) graduated from her MSci Biology with a first class mark. Hailey will be returning to Singapore tomorrow and starts a new job in September.
We would like to thank Hailey for all her hard work over the last two years, and for being such a fun and professional member of our time lab. We wish her good luck for the future, we will miss you!
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.
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