Here's what some of our research assistants have to say about their experience in the IASL.

Ilana Pomerantz

BA in Psychology, with a minor in Near Eastern and Judaic studies
Brandeis University, Class of 2013

"I learned about the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Laboratory when Dr. Spencer Lynn reached out to my University's psychology department seeking research assistants for his project. I was very excited when I received a letter from the lab extending an invitation for a visiting research scholar appointment. I investigated decision making under uncertainty and risk using MATLAB software, administered the Trier Social Stress Test, and acquired and scored psychophysiological measurements under the direction of Dr. Spencer Lynn. In a separate project, working with Dr. Ajay Satpute, I designed an experiment measuring psychophysiological variables, such as Impedance Cardiography, to evaluate the strength of the correlation between physiological responses and Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy. These projects taught me how to think critically about a research protocol so that I could tangibly contribute to the experimental procedures. I also collaborated with Dr. Lynn to measure the effect of age, gender, and facial expression on emotion perception bias. I presented our results at the 2014 Cognitive Neuroscience Society conference and am currently preparing a manuscript for publication. I enjoyed this opportunity because I was able to confidently demonstrate my knowledge to international researchers and learn about the publication process. I am very thankful for the opportunity that this lab presented to me and all of the friends and professional connections that I made. As I will be entering a Clinical Psychology doctorate program in the Fall of 2015, I know that working in IASL really shaped my appreciation for using scientific research to understand and help progress the growing field of psychology."

Tali Rudy

Psychology and Education Double Major
Northeastern University, Class of 2016

"I've been working at IASLab for two years now and it has definitely shaped my experience in college and at Northeastern. I came into college with a vague idea of what research meant and working at the IASLab has given me hands-on experience in this field. I can now say that I not only know what research in the field of psychology is, specifically in the field of affective psychology, but have been a part of it. Through my involvement in the lab, I have gotten to work in innovative, ground breaking research with people who are at the top of their field using machines that only exist in two places in the world! I have gone to conferences and seen things that an undergraduate student cannot even imagine. I am lucky to be an RA in the lab because of the experience I have gained and also the friendships and relationships I have formed with my fellow RA's as well as the full-time staff."

Aileen Gabriel

Psychology major, with a minor in Behavioral Neuroscience
Northeastern University, Class of 2015

"I was a Research Assistant in the IASLab since Spring 2012 up to my graduation Spring 2015. With the guidance of my Team Lead, Dr. Ian Kleckner, I gained experience in almost all aspects of the research trajectory as an undergrad. I acquired and analyzed behavioral and psychophysiology data. I also gained experience in research report writing. The IASLab was my first experience in scientific research and helped prepare me tremendously for my 2 co-op placements, one being at Boston Children's Hospital. My experience in the IASLab has also helped me with applying to graduate school."

Alaina Baker

Psychology major, with a minor in Behavioral Neuroscience
Northeastern University, Class of 2017

"To say working in the IASLab was an incredible experience would be an understatement. Before I was an RA in the lab, I had no prior research experience. Despite this, Erika and the IASLab took a chance and for that alone I will be forever grateful. I quickly learned research methods and procedures and began immediately working with real participants. Hooking up body sensors, measuring physiological data, and carrying out procedures were only a few of the many tasks that not only helped me expand my knowledge of basic research concepts, but also of interoceptive sensitivity and affective reactivity. In the year I spent at the IASLab I was given the opportunity to work with a team to create and present a professional research poster on our projects in the lab. The team of post docs, graduate students, research technicians, and fellow research assistants made the experience educational and incredibly positive. Their support and genuine desire to teach and learn was contagious. I am so grateful for the people and projects in this lab, and all they have allowed me to learn and accomplish."

Gabriella Joseph

Behavioral Neuroscience
Northeastern University, Class of 2015

"In college, I extensively studied the concept of learning in humans when I worked at the Interdisciplinary Affective Science Lab on campus. I studied the use of signal detection as an optimal model for decision-making in a shock study led by Spencer Lynn. At the same time, we measured the electrophysiology of each participant (heart rate, skin conductance, breathing). I have worked with electrodes: attaching them to participants. I examined the effects of age and gender on perceivers' ability to categorize faces as fearful or happy. Working at IASL also gave me basic experience in patient recruitment when I scheduled the dates on which I would carry out experiments. In addition, with my fellow researchers, I put together abstracts and posters summarizing the research. My time working as a research assistant showed me the benefits of studying behavioral psychology and has helped point my career path in the right direction."

Brian Smith

Health Psychology
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Class of 2015

"I began working at the IASLab when I was a third-year Health Psychology student at another college. I'd known earlier that doing research as a career could be interesting, but I had no experience in the field, and didn't know what to expect. Thankfully, the lab team was very accommodating and eager to teach. While interning at the lab, I've gained a variety of skills that I'll need in order to succeed in this field. More than that, though, my experience here has allowed me to 'test the waters' so to speak, and as a result, I'm much more confident in my career path. In fact, I actually only learned of the existence of the field of Behavioral Neuroscience from working in the lab, and since I've decided to enter into this field as I progress with my career, I can say with confidence that working here has heavily influenced my career path and my life."

Lindsay Scholl

BS in Health Psychology, with a minor in Public Health
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Class of 2014

"As a research assistant (RA) in the IASLab, I was able to collaborate with other RAs who shared common academic interests and goals, gain experience working with human subjects, strengthen my data management skills, and learn about some of the responsibilities had by doctoral students. Through my experience as an RA, I was able to take what I learned about conducting research in the classroom and apply it to interesting, original research projects and learn from experience. Additionally, from working closely with other RAs and graduate students, I was able to learn more about other areas of psychology, get advice on the graduate school application process, and was able to network and develop lasting professional connections."

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