The Laboratory for Affective Neurodynamics is located in Clearview Hall, the Psychology Department's clinical research facility, on the main campus. The laboratory is a recently built suite specifically designed for conducting research in cognitive/affective neuroscience and psychophysiology. The lab includes a participant waiting room, an experimental control suite, two sound attenuated testing rooms (one for electrophysiological data acquisition and a second for behavioral/diagnostic testing) and a large workstation area. The testing rooms are equipped for continuous audio-visual monitoring of participants to ensure experiment compliance and participant safety. The laboratory is easily accessible by public transportation and car and there is dedicated metered parking for research participants at the building.
High Density EEG
The lab houses a high-density (129 channel, Net Amps 400 Series-Research) EEG facility. The Electrical Geodesics Incorporated (EGI) dense-array EEG system includes high quality, high-input impedance amplifiers (online sampling rate capabilities up to 1 KHz), capable of acquiring clean electrocortical signals with minimal scalp preparation, using sponge-imbedded electrodes soaked in saline. A 129-channel sensor net can be correctly placed and good recordings begun in as little as 10-15 minutes. The reduction in set up time simplifies participation, reducing possible discomfort associated with abrasive preparation in traditional EEG systems.
Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation
We are currently integrating a transcranial oscillatory direct current stimulation (toDCS) device that permits frequency-specific perturbations of cortical areas. This device also supports more typical stimulation parameters involving constant (square wave)
current application (tDCS).
Non-invasive brain stimulation techniques can be used in parallel with behavioral and electrophysiological testing to determine the causal influence of specific neuronal oscillations on cognitive and affective function as well as large-scale brain dynamics.
Additional opportunities for non-invasive targeted neuromodulation are provided by "stroboscopic" goggles that allow oscillatory sensory entrainment.
The EGI PhysioBox is an additional plug-and-play device that permits recording up to 16 channels of peripheral physiology including heart rate, skin conductance and electromyogenic (EMG) activity. The availability of these additional channels permits acquiring simultaneous data about autonomic reflex mobilization during experimental paradigms.
The lab contains custom-built devices for the induction of affective states in realistic and ethically responsible ways. This includes a cold pressor "chill" device and stimulating bars for delivering mild electric shock.
The lab contains a mix of Apple and PC-based computer stations equipped with necessary software (Matlab, SPSS, R, etc.) for acquiring, reducing and analyzing data. A powerful machine is dedicated solely for data management related to computationally intensive tasks (e.g., N x N functional connectivity estimates, ICA-based estimation of artifact sources in high density EEG, multivariate pattern classification) to maximize computing efficiency within the laboratory.