Neurobiology is a super-interesting topic for studies and student-led investigations. From perception and memory to invertebrate behaviour, there is a great diversity of areas for research. Of course, one of the biggest challenges is generating “sufficient relevant data”, so plan early and look for ways to record data that will reduce uncertainties and errors.
- Aim to generate large sample sizes of reliable data
- Aim for an experiment rather than a survey – test the effects of at least five increments of a variable under your control on the measurable impact on your dependent variable.
- Remember, if you are using humans in your investigation, you must complete the human subject consent form.
- Make sure you fully understand the pathways or processed involved in your study. Use reliable, cited information in your lab report.
DO NOT carry out any investigations that require testing of blood or other bodily fluids, or which involve medications or dietary changes.
Here are some links to simulations and tests of variable quality that might give you some ideas.
Perception & Memory
- Reaction times: human benchmark
- Reaction times: Jim Allen’s reaction tester
- Reaction times: Sheep shooter
- Reaction times & spatial: Dot reactions
- Vision: Spot the Difference
- Vision: Stroop Effect simulation (and another one here)
- Vision: Colour & reaction times
- Vision: Face memory test
- Hearing: lots of sound memory games from Exploratorium
- Hearing: memorize the melody
- Hearing: note memory pairs
- Hearing: auditory reaction times
- Hearing: adaptive pitch discrimination
- Hearing: pitch discrimination tester
Lots more perception-related simulations from Eric Chudler’s Neurobiology site.
Lots more cognition games from http://cognitivefun.net/
Brain games and tests from Lumosity.com
- Look at back at topic 3: Innate and Learned Behaviour