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College of Information and Communications

  • A male student inside the Baux Lab wearing the eyetracking software.

Biometrics and User Experience Lab

Housed in Davis College, the Biometrics and User Experience Lab is a multi-purpose research facility that uses cutting-edge sensors to track facial expressions, eye movement, sweat gland stimulation and neuro-electrical activity. The newly opened lab is already broadening the scope — and impact —of the CIC’s faculty and student research.

 

Lab Capabilities

Traditional communications research often uses self-reported or survey data, meaning results can be influenced by participants who give socially desirable responses. Biometric research is different. It measures innate physiological responses, tapping into participants’ subconscious and involuntary behaviors.

Eye Tracking

Uses near-infrared technology and an HD camera to track gaze direction and quantifies the visual attention.

Facial Expression

Measures seven different emotions (happy, sad, etc.) and 21 facial action units (brow furrow, jaw drop, etc.)

Galvanic Skin Response (GSR)

Measures the sweat glands in the skin, specifically on the hands and feet, which are triggered by emotional stimulation.

Electroencephalography

A neuroimaging technique that measures electrical activity on the scalp  associated with perception, cognition, and emotional processes.


Research

Current faculty research projects focus on human-computer interaction, message persuasion, social media communication, citizen-compared-to-staff photojournalism, and health communication.

Student groups are also benefitting from the lab, including the Ad Team, which used the technology to prepare for the 2020 National Student Advertising Competition. The team took second place.

Undergraduate and graduate courses may be taught in the lab, and students may also access it by assisting with faculty research projects.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

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