Research Facilities

Louvain-La-Neuve

The Psychological Sciences Research Institute provides its members with the following research equipment:
 

The IPSY Laboratories

The Institute of Research in the Psychological Sciences (IPSY) aims to provide the best opportunities to facilitate high quality research. One innovation to meet this aim is in the provision of laboratory facilities to IPSY members. In 2011, IPSY reorganised the laboratories to promote optimum use. For the majority of the available laboratories, a reservation system allows IPSY members to use a laboratory when required. For members of IPSY who gain funding for research that uses specialised equipment, a secure laboratory is provided to the fund holder. For all laboratory use in IPSY, the following charter is used.


Multimédia

The Institute has audiovisual equipment such as high definition digital cameras, sound recording equipment and software required for image and sound processing. A loan service of this equipment allows researchers to make viewing and listening of people and to analyze behaviours such as parent-child interactions, difficulties in speaking, responses to various situations...

 


Motion and Eye-Tracking Lab

The laboratory allows the combination of motion- and eye-tracking analyses. Actions can be recorded using a magnetic (wired) Polhemus Liberty system. The equipment can measure the 3D position of up to 7 markers (attached to body parts), 240 times a second. Eye-movements can be recorded using a table mounted, infra-red Eyelink 1000 upgraded system. The equipment can measure a variety of eye measures, up to 1000 times a second. The two systems are fully compatible, and can be time locked. The equipment can be used for measuring any aspect of psychology involving interactions either between two people, or between a person and the environment.
Recently, the laboratory has acquired two mobile Tobii EyeX systems that can record eye-gaze with good accuracy, with approximately 60 or 120 captures a second. This allows for mobile eye-tracking possibilities, for example testing patient attention in a clinical setting


Room of psychophysical tests multisensory

The room is dedicated to multisensory psychophysic testing. We have a semi-anechoic chamber comprising state-of-the-art stimuli delivery systems for auditory, tactile and visual experiments.

Our sound delivery system comprises 30 loudspeakers mounted on horizontal and vertical semicircular wooden structures with a radius of 1.1m. We also have a system for in-ear recording using binaural in-ear omni-directional microphones (Sound Professionals-TFB-2; ‘flat’ frequency range 20–20,000 Hz) attached to a portable Zoom H4n digital wave recorder (16-bit, stereo, 44.1 kHz sampling rate). Microphones were positioned at the opening of participant’s left and right auditory ear canals. This allows the replaying of external sounds in situations where only headphones can be used, like during fMRI or MEG recordings.

Visual stimulation is achieved using CRT screens or video projectors.

Tactile stimulation is achieved via 2 separate systems, either pneumatic (2 channels) or using piezo-electric stimulator (10 channels). Boths systems provide accurate control on the timing and intensities of the stimulation.


Psychophysiology Laboratory

This laboratory allows a wide range of physiological measures to be recorded for further statistical processing. Measuring the electrical activity of the brain (visual attention, memory, and language functions) makes it possible to analyze the role of emotional bias in life events.

A laboratory is specially equiped to study the physiological component of emotions by stimulating the participant to induce certain emotions and to measure changes of several physiological parameters such as heart rate, skin conductance or activity of certain facial muscles (EMG).

The lab consists of two contiguous rooms:

• A machine room with the hardware acquisition, two computers (Intel Quad) and monitors.

• A room for the participant, equipped with a camera, microphone, headphones, loudspeakers and a video screen for stimulation.

To minimize electromagnetic interference, these rooms are faradized and electricity is provided by a specific generator.

The acquisition unit is a Biopac MP150 allowing simultaneous recording of 3 channels EMG, channel EKG, PPG channel, a channel SC, 8 inputs and 8 analog outputs.
 


EEG-ERP Laboratory

The laboratory enables Evoked-Response Potentials (ERPs) research in order to study cognitive processes with a high temporal resolution. This domain of research aims to identify spatio-temporal patterns of brain activity that underlie perceptual processing as modified by attention.

This laboratory was specially developed for the study of ERPs. Electrical potentials recorded at the surface of the scalp are used to localize and quantify brain activity induced by external stimuli or cognitive processes.

The acquisition unit Refa ANT has 128 channels EEG, 8 bipolar channels (ie EMG), 8 auxiliary analog channels and 8 logical channels. Two computers (Intel Quad) are available: one recordsg signals with ASA and the other is used to stimulate the participant with software such as Matlab or ePRIME.


Computer Rooms for experimentation

The Institute has four computer labs for testing simultaneous groups of participants (respectively 12, 6, 5 and 5 positions).

All computers, exactly the same within the same laboratory, are connected through a server and therefore enjoy full access to the Internet, allowing in particular synchronizing data between the participants.
 


Virtual Reality Lab

The general principle of this laboratory is to use virtual reality to immerse individuals in a given situation with the advantage that this solution provides a better control of situations in which participants are immersed, and to dispense with much practical problems encountered with more traditional techniques of immersion 'in vivo'.

The laboratory is currently equipped with a virtual reality helmet with sensors on orientation of the head, Polhemus Liberty Latus motion analysis for tracking limb and body action within real and virtual space, 5DT body gloves for tracking hand movements and a set of software tools to generate and display the virtual environments.

This new tool is intended to develop in the coming years and to make the latest technological innovations available to the IPSY researchers.


Motion Analysis Lab

The laboratory uses a Polhemus Liberty 240/8 motion analysis system to track and record actions. The laboratory also uses Plato Visual Occlusion Spectacles (from Translucent Technologies) to control vision and allow for accurate recording of reaction time in real, everyday situations. The equipment can be used for measuring any aspect of psychology involving interactions either between two people, or between a person and the environment.