The project’s main objective this summer was to find a stronger biomarker for evaluating depression via neuroeconomics and loss aversion tactics. The approach was highly multidisciplinary. It combined various ways to measure objective physiological data such as pupil gaze, EEG, heart rate, etc., which were then tied into analyses diverting from many different fields, including psychology and neuroscience (along with economics).
My favorite part about participating in research over the summer was experiencing firsthand how research truly unfolds. Seeing the fully fleshed out process of experimental design, participant recruitment, and operating the programs/devices, along with formalities such as proposals and papers and lab presentations, was incredibly helpful. Now I have a tangible idea of what research actually requires, and the amount of work, planning, and organization that goes into working on a project. Learning to operate all of the equipment was also a plus! The eye-tracking machine specifically was my favorite. In addition, collaborating with my peers and watching all of our different skill sets fit together like clockwork was wonderfully rewarding. I’m excited to continue working at the lab throughout this upcoming semester to possibly work on a different research project that I’ve been thinking about.
One of the most important discoveries that I made while participating in CURF over the summer was a personal one. I love science, I love working at a lab, and I can clearly see how the answers to many of today’s most pressing questions lie at the intersection of multiple disciplines. I’m very excited for the future.