Congratulations, Ellen (and her Mum for such a brill cake)!

We would like to say a very big congratulations to MIRAGE lab member Ellen who is graduating today! We roped her in to joining us at Big Bang Fair a few years ago, and she hasn’t looked back since – throughout her undergraduate degree she has worked with us at Summer Scientist Week, many public engagement events and this year ran her own MIRAGE research project for her final year dissertation. Thank you for all your hard work Ellen, and congratulations on your brilliant results. Enjoy your graduation! (Hope you and the cake can withstand the 30 degree heat..!)

ellencake

 

MIRAGE at the Newcastle Life Science Centre

Newsflash!! Roger, with the help of technicians Andy Smith and Colin Ely, has created an exciting new MIRAGE (along with a lot of mess in the lab). This latest version includes fully automated, interactive CfLSmallbody illusions. It will be a permanent exhibition as part of the Brain Zone at the Newcastle Life Science Centre (although we were hoping it would stay in Notts and run all our experiments for us). The Brain Zone is funded by the Wellcome Trust and  Roger is on his way to Newcastle today to see Baroness Manningham-Buller (the chair of the Wellcome Trust) officially open the exhibition. Follow this link for information on visiting the Brain Zone and trying the illusion yourself: http://www.life.org.uk/whats-on/brain-zone.

UCAS Visit Days at The School of Psychology

If you’re going to a UCAS Visit Day at The University of Nottingham, make sure you come along to the School of Psychology. There’ll be a range of talks including a presentation with the MIRAGE on the following dates:

February 10th 2015

February 17th 2015

February 24th 2015

March 2nd 2015

We’ll be looking for willing volunteers to demonstrate our multisensory illusions, including finger stretching and the disappearing hand trick. We’ll also be on-hand to answer any questions about studying psychology at Nottingham. Hope to see you there!

For information of UCAS visit days click on this link: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/studywithus/visitingus/ucas-visit-days.aspx

New Publication: Give it a Tug and Feel it Grow

It took us a week to realise, but now that it’s gone live we’re very happy to share our latest publication with you all!

Ever wondered how finger stretching in MIRAGE really feels? Does it actually feel like it’s been stretched? We wanted to know how well this was working too so decided to put our thousands of fingers stretched to good use and ask people that very question.

Interested in the result? Check out our publication here:

http://ipe.sagepub.com/content/6/5/2041669515599310.full.pdf+html

Finger stretching in action:

Exciting times for MIRAGE round the globe

We have two exciting events to tell you about this week:

Firstly, Chris Dijkerman and his team set up camp at an open day in their local hospital in Utrecht to showcase what they can do. As you can see from the pictures below, detaching the finger was as popular as ever with people of all ages.

Secondly, Tasha Stanton has only been doing the Disappearing Hand Trick on Australian television! She took a famous Aussie adventurer and national celebrity through his paces on a range of pain-related multisensory tasks, including some on MIRAGE. You can see her on this link at RiAus.TV – Australia’s Science Channel http://riaus.tv/videos/tim-vs-mountain-episode-1
Tasha was brilliant throughout, but if you want to skip to the MIRAGE stuff then don’t, because it is all good.

Below: Chris and his team on show in Utrecht

IMG20151003WA0000 IMG20151003WA0002

New MIRAGE publication: visuo-tactile integration in Autism

This month the Mirage lab published a study in Molecular Autism investigating visuo-tactile integration in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Sensory atypicalities, such as a dislike of loud noises or a preference for certain textures, are common in ASD. Research from studies on visuo-auditory integration suggests these could be due to atypical sensory integration. There’s little research on visuo-tactile-proprioceptive integration in ASD but MIRAGE presents an ideal way to investigate this area!Fig 1. Molecular_Autism_revision

In the study, a group of 29 children with ASD and 58 typically-developing children took part in an experiment using a supernumerary limb illusion. We found that when visual and tactile information were separated by a delay, all children bound the information together to embody a hand when the delay was small. However, the group with ASD continued to do this even when the delay was large. This temporally extended sensory binding could lead to problems binding information from related events which may affect sensitivity to sensory stimuli.

Read the full article here: Molecular Autism

How to make an intern squeal

Last week we went to the University of Nottingham’s first ever Research Cafe, an event at which members of the public can come in for a cup of tea and a slice of cake and leave having done a few experiments. Although we were not there to collect data, we did try out a few new illusions: the reaction to one of which you can hear here. We think this was an amputation illusion on one of our interns. We can’t quite make out the last word on the clip, so if you can help us out, let us know.

Although currently we only post a few of our illusions on this site, that day made us realise that we actually have about 20 which we ought to share with you. We will be posting more of these as soon as we find the time. We hope you enjoy them.

MIRAGE Lab goes to Summer Scientist Week

SummerMIRAGElab This week, the MIRAGE lab (Poppy, Katie, Ellen, Natasha, Hayley and Kristy) will be collecting data from hundreds of children at The University of Nottingham’s Summer Scientist Week – an annual event organised by researchers from the School of Psychology. We will be running lots of experiments using variations of our two hands, disappearing hand and finger stretching illusions. It’s hard work, but worth it!

Next week (Thursday and Friday) you will find some of us at Nottingham Contemporary. Details to follow!