Thursday, March 2, 2017

URSP Student Jasmine Dang Studies Sustained Attention to Response Task and Auditory Cues on Task Performance

My present research project is a continuation of my previous study of individual differences in cognitive flexibility and sustained attention. However, this study mainly focuses on a sustained attention to response task (a measure of sustained attention) and auditory cues on task performance. Sustained attention plays an important role in many jobs and even in daily tasks such as long distance driving. The decrement in sustained attention on such tasks could potentially lead to dangerous consequences. The findings of the study provide researchers information on how to use auditory cues effectively to improve performance in sustained attention tasks, which potentially decrease the probability of undesired consequences occurring. This project also aims to study the validity of a measure of sustained attention. I hope to use this project as a part of my research in graduate school. One of my long-term goals is to study the effect of cues (i.e. tactiles, auditory, visual cues) on driving. The subsequent goal would be studying how robotic systems, coded with cues and incorporating my research findings, affects individuals’ attention state during driving tasks. 

Over the past few weeks, I have worked with my mentor, Dr. Helton William, on an IRB application and the SONA paperwork. We contacted a software developer to negotiate a deal of purchase. The project is on halt at this point until we get the software for the project approved by the GMU IT services. We will be able to start coding the program and obtaining data upon the approval.

Through my experience with research, I have learned many skills. Research requires patience and flexibility within an arranged timeline. This semester, I am reminded of this lesson. I discovered one additional thing: there is more than one-way to obtain data. We do not have to adhere to the traditionally methods. Don’t just work harder, but work smarter!