Seminars & Events
Friday, October 4, 2013: Dr. Laurie Ryan, SMCM '86 (National Institute on Aging) will speak on "Alzheimer's Disease: Targets and Treatments" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Monday, October 21, 2013: Dr. Greg Elmer (University of Maryland Baltimore) will speak on "Domains and Constructs in Motivation: Where Does the Habenula Fit In?" at 4:45 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Friday, October 25, 2013: Dr. Terry Davidson (American University) will speak on "Why We Overeat and Become Obese? It Could be What We Think!" at 3:00 pm in Goodpaster Hall 195.
Dr. Gwen Calhoon '06 recently received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Maryland Baltimore, and was inducted into Nu Rho Psi.
Mirenzi, Aaron (2011). Analyzing the gender aftereffect in biological motion : the effects of adaptation to static and dynamic stimuli. (Mentor: E. Hiris)
Biological Motion stimuli present human form and motion through points of light placed on major joints of the human body. These point light walkers (PLWs), though minimal, present enough information for accurate gender perception. It has been shown that adapting to a hyper sexual PLW will bias the perception of a subsequent PLW as being the opposite gender (Troje, Sadr, Geyer, & Nakayama, 2006). Aftereffect research uses the assumption that the aftereffect is caused by adaptation to a particular aspect of the stimulus. In the case of biological motion perception, low level motions are combined to create a global form, which is then placed in a gender category. Thus, adaptation could be occurring to the motions of the stimulus, the form of the stimulus, or to gender as a concept. This paper addresses which physical aspects of biological motion are adapted to in the gender aftereffect. Experiment 1 used full body images, which evoked gender as a concept, as adaptation stimuli, however, these images were unable to cause an gender aftereffect in the perception of a PLW, suggesting that the aftereffect is perceptual, not conceptual. Experiment 2 used PLWs reduced to four hip and shoulder points as adaptation stimuli. Despite research showing the critical nature of hip and shoulder points for gender perception, adaptation to these points alone did not cause a gender aftereffect in a complete PLW. Experiment 3 used static PLWs to test whether the form of the stimulus was the adaptive property of the stimulus. Contrary to several studies showing the importance of motion in gender perception, we found that adaptation to a non-moving PLW created an aftereffect similar to when a dynamic PLW was adapted to. We conclude that in the gender aftereffect in biological motion, the form of the stimulus is the adaptive property. Experiment 3 suggests that form processing is critical for gender perception in humans, even in displays which highlight human motion, and minimize human form.