Physiological Psychology/Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory. The physiological psychology / behavioral neuroscience labs at Amherst use a variety of approaches to investigate brain-behavior relationships. We can perform stereotaxic surgery, high pressure liquid chromotography, electrophysiology, and immunohistochemistry. Behaviorally, we are equipped to examine conditioned taste aversion, conditioned avoidance, operant behavior, open field behavior, obesity, gustatory psychophysics, feeding microstructure, and videographic analyses of anxiety, locomotor, and feeding behavior. We routinely add testing equipment as particular experiments require; for example, the laboratory was recently expanded to allow acute electrophysiological recordings of neuron responses to taste stimuli, digested nutrients and obesity-related peptides.
Cognitive Laboratory. The cognitive psychology laboratory at Amherst is equipped to handle a variety of experimental protocols with both younger and older adults. We have the capacity to generate musical stimuli, and to record music and other auditory stimuli from the environment. Visual images can be scanned, and software is available to construct and manipulate three-dimensional objects. Testing rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art experimental design sofware. These programs allow careful control of the timing and order of stimulus presentation, and can be used to record response accuracy and reaction time.
Social / Personality Laboratory. The social/personality psychology lab at Amherst is equipped to handle a variety of experimental protocols. We have testing rooms available for virtually any type of study, including a large room for use with a group of up to 20 participants, a medium-size room for use with 5 to 10 participants, and 2 small rooms that can handle 1 or 2 participants. All of the testing rooms are equipped with one-way mirrors so that we can observe participants' behavior, and most have the capacity to videotape participants' behavior. We also have the capacity to record and edit video stimuli and to show participants video stimuli in both large group and individual settings.
Child Learning and Development Laboratory studies how children learn about the world around them, with a particular emphasis on how children learn from social interactions with others. Equipped with two testing rooms and a comfortable waiting room, our lab space allows us to collect behavioral data from children and adults, while also putting participants at ease during their visit. One of our testing rooms is also equipped with a one-way mirror so that parents can watch their children participate in research from the comfort of our waiting room.
Peer Relationships Laboratory. The Peer Relationships lab conducts research examining the social experiences, behaviors, and peer relationships of children, adolescents, and young adults. We examine the cognitive, emotional, and environmental factors that may relate to differences in social adjustment.