Wednesday, 31 August 2011

The MIRAGE lab - Malaysia campus

Next month we have a MIRAGE system winging its way over to the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. It will be traveling over with new Ph.D. student Vrushant Lakhlani who is going to be working with Dr. Kirsten McKenzie. They plan to combine MIRAGE multisensory illusions with EEG. EEG, or Electroencephalography, measures electrical brain activity from electrodes placed on the scalp so we can find out what is going on in the brain when participants are exposed to MIRAGE multisensory illusions.

Dr. Kirsten McKenzie studied both Psychology and the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, before completing an MSc(Hons) and working as a Research Assistant at the Research Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience. She then moved to the UK to conduct research at Glasgow Caledonian University, and was awarded an Inter-Disciplinary Doctoral Training Scholarship to carry out her Ph.D. in multi-sensory integration and spatial frames of reference at the University of Nottingham (UK), Institute of Neuroscience. Dr. McKenzie then spent three years as Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, UK, investigating perceptual integration and tactile illusions, and is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham's Malaysia Campus.

Ph.D. student Vrushant Lakhlani, originally from Leicester, studied at Bangor University where in 2006 he completed his BSc in Psychology with Neuropsychology and then an MSc  in Foundations of Clinical Neuropsychology. Vrush is moving out to Malaysia to start his Ph.D. in September this year (providing his visa gets sorted soon).

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Do you suffer arthritis?

We are looking for participants with arthritis in the Nottingham area to get in touch to take part in our experiment. If you or someone you know are interested please contact Helen Gilpin on

Summer Scientist Week sucess

Summer scientist weeks was a great very successful as we had two separate MIRAGE systems running and managed to try our illusions on well over 100 children. 

The next event we are preparing for is the British Science Festival in Bradford on the 14th and 15th of September. There a MIRAGE will be situated in the Atrium of the Richmond building from 10-4 each day and visitor will be able to have a go at our finger stretching, hand swapping, extra hand and disappearing hand illusions - so please try to come along.

In other news another MIRAGE publication is now in press in Current Biology. This one uses the disappearing hand trick to cause participants to 'lose a limb'. It is the first paper of our newest member Helen Gilpin as it was the experiment she ran for her undergraduate project. Well done Helen! Details of how to get hold of the paper will be posted soon.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Summer Scientist Week

Today is the beginning of 2011 Summer Scientist Week at the University of Nottingham in which 4 - 11-year-olds take part in fun experiments, learning about science, having fun and helping with research. The MIRAGE system is one of the fun activities on offer and we have people there all week interacting with the children and showing them our cool illusions. we'll have another post about how they got on at the end of the week.

It has been a while since the last post because I have been in Malaysia we have a MIRAGE moving the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus - more about that in the next post!