TAMIU Neuroscience Research Invigorated with New Equipment
Posted: 10/4/12

TAMIU Neuroscience Research
Invigorated with New Equipment

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) researchers will soon be able to measure human brain activity within milliseconds of stimuli presentation thanks to new equipment that can expand the scope of neuroscience research at the University.

The University will acquire the Biosemi Electroencephalography/Event Related Potentials Active Two Acquisition System (EEG/ERP) with a $98,000 grant received from the National Science Foundation (NSF), explained Dr. Anna B. Cieślicka, assistant professor of psychology and principal investigator for the grant.

The Biosemi is state-of-the-art equipment that allows for a closer study of the electrical activity within the brain and how it processes language and other visual as well as auditory stimuli as soon as they are presented, Cieślicka explained.

“A person whose brain activity is being studied is wearing a cap fitted with 128 electrodes that read electrical activity of the brain as the brain is processing information presented visually or auditorily,” Cieślicka said.

Bilingual language processing as well as neurological mechanisms involved in the comprehension and storage of figurative language by bilinguals are among research projects researchers are planning to conduct utilizing the Biosemi, said Cieślicka.

Uses of the equipment are versatile and can also encompass multiple academic areas such as autism research, thus facilitating interdisciplinary study, she added.  

Dr. Mónica Muñoz, assistant professor of psychology and the grant’s co-principal investigator, said student research can also benefit from the Biosemi acquisition.

“A lot of students are interested in neuroscience research and this will be a great opportunity to get them involved,” said Muñoz, “Some of them are excited and are asking if they can use the Biosemi for their thesis. This is an excellent opportunity for them to gain experience in preparation for a Ph.D. program.”

The Biosemi will be housed in the COG Science Lab (Cognitive Science Lab), located in Dr. F.M. Canseco Hall, said Cieślicka.

“Right now, neuroscience is booming as we want to find out what is going on in terms of brain activity,” Muñoz said, “ The fact that we can start doing that type of research here is going to place TAMIU up there with some of those universities that have established neuroscience programs,” she concluded.

For more information, please contact Dr. Cieślicka at 326.2611 or e-mail anna.cieslicka@tamiu.edu.

University office hours are from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu