Thursday, December 16, 2010

Psychology Christmas party!

As psychologists, it's usually our patients who get to put their feet up (haha get it?), but last Friday night was this year’s end of year celebration for Psychology. This year has been very busy and productive for me, so I thought it was my personal responsibility to celebrate hard. We all headed to the Toowong Rowing Club and got our drink on...
Mark, me and James getting stuck into our first drinks.

Silly party-hat shannanigans with mystery person! Actually, it's not that much of a mystery - I just couldn't get a hold of this person to ask if I could use a photo where you could actually see her face!

Mark and James often take photos together, so I asked them to take some snaps of the party with my iPhone. What I didn't realise is that they were walking around pretending to take photos of people, but were actually using the phone's front camera to take photos of themselves! Hilarious guys...

Emma and Blake. Not sure if Blake knew how hard it was to take him seriously with that hat/jacket combo...

Blake and me after realising our entry fee only got us two free drinks!

All in all, it was a pretty fun party and a great way to celebrate a big year. If the UQ Psyc Blog ever gets a budget of more than $0/year, I'll be sure to host a party for all our readers!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Excuses excuses...

Well the UQ Psyc Blog is back after a brief hiatus. Life has been busy for all the bloggers - conferences, holidays, confirmation seminars, assignment and exam marking, and data collection are just some of the excuses I won’t use to justify why there hasn’t been a new post in a while. What I will use, is this (be sure to watch in full 720p):

That’s a “teaser” video for James and my experience at Psychonomics, a cognitive psychology conference held in St Louis, Missouri, USA. I presented a poster about my work on OKN, and James presented a poster about his work on how unexpected visual events catch our attention.

While we obviously had a lot of fun, a conference is by no means a holiday - if you get a chance to go to a conference, you are there representing yourself professionally, your supervisors and their reputation, and your university. So even though the 30 hour trip to St Louis left James and I a little jet lagged, we couldn’t use that as an excuse when talking about our research, and especially not when talking to the big names in our area.

A definite highlight of conferences is getting to meet people you've only really read or heard about. In my case, this happened during a dinner we had with our supervisors and their colleagues. We got to meet Chip Folk, who, if you search for his article “Involuntary covert orienting is contingent on attentional control settings”, you’ll see has been cited over 700 times (and that's just for one paper co-authored by Roger, our supervisor). We also got to meet Shu-Chieh Wu who still works at NASA where she met Roger, and is another of Roger’s co-authors.

From left: Chip, me, James, Shu-Chieh, Stef, Roger.

Conferences are a lot of fun, but they're also a lot of work. I'm certainly not complaining - in fact I've just submitted an abstract to attend another conference in 6 months!

Stay tuned for regular UQ Psyc Blog updates (again)!