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Université du Québec à Montréal|uqam|



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The mission of NeuroLab is to conduct cutting-edge research, to disseminate knowledge and to collaborate with partners from the scientific and business communities in the following trends :

  • The superimposition of psychophysiological and behavioral data
  • Online mesures
  • Dynamics of affect and cognition
  • Situations involving interpersonal interactions

Educational neuroscience - Real-time measures of cognition and emotions
Most of the work at NeuroLab is at the interface between educational neuroscience and real-time measures of cognition and emotions. Educational neuroscience draws on traditional approaches (simple, repeated tasks like ERP) to better understand the cognition associated with learning and the solving of complex problems.
The real-time measures of cognition and emotions aim to constitute continuous traces, even in real time, of the evolution of cognitive and affective processes. Advances at NeuroLab have made it possible to obtain measurements at least once per second. Affective measures are then used, for example, to determine the intensity of an emotion (arousal) and whether it is positive or negative (valence). As for the cognitive measures, they provide information, for example, on attention, cognitive load and cognitive engagement in a given task.
Overall, this work continues the research program of a great visionary, Allen Newell. Newell (1990) insisted on the need to consider cognition (this also applies to affectivity) as a hierarchical system, each level of which operates in a strict compromise between speed and complexity of information processing. Thus, the mental operations observed for the rational and cognitive, even affective levels, could be better explained by the observation of the lower levels even down to the biological level, in particular the neuronal circuits. However, in order to understand cognition and affectivity in all their complexity, work at NeuroLab favours the superimposition of psychophysiological and behavioral data, in particular in the observation of complex tasks.

Individual - Group
NeuroLab was essentially founded to undertake original work combining methods in neuroscience and relatively natural interactions between individuals. Current work has made it possible to better characterize the cognition and affectivity of each person within a dyad, and interpersonal influences in a learning context. The work in progress will attempt to conceive of interindividual functioning as an additional meta-level.
In addition to making it possible to observe interpersonal interactions face to face or from a distance, the installations at NeuroLab also make it possible to observe affectivity and cognition within a single individual, whether during a more static task (i.e. word reading) or an interactive task (for example, with or without feedback). The use of video games, serious video games, educational games and virtual simulations is part of the work carried out at NeuroLab.

Laboratory - Authentic context
NeuroLab conducts applied research, aimed as directly as possible at developing and implementing solutions to real-life problems. Thus, the work is done on a continuum which compromises between the controlled conditions in the laboratory and real world conditions in adapting to the different research objectives.
Access to state-of-the-art fixed, and portable facilities provides versatility in terms of data collection at NeuroLab, as well as outside of the university, in a natural environment. In addition, the equipment makes it possible to maintain excellent data quality during long experiments (i.e several hours) in contrast to the experimental length of the majority of current research in the field.
Portable facilities, such as portable EEG or portable eye tracking, allow for data collection in real world contextual environments. The advantage of this adaptation makes it possible to meet research objectives when the authenticity of the environment takes precedence over experimental control, and when this environment is difficult to reproduce in a controlled laboratory context.

Learning - Performance
Research at NeuroLab is about learning and performance, two related themes, because it involves both performance in a learning context to acquire new knowledge and the use of knowledge to achieve performance. The superimposition of psychophysiological and behavioral data allows us to better understand the temporal evolution of learning and performance.
Depending on multidisciplinary collaborations, the projects touch on reading difficulties, text comprehension, second language learning, technological assistance tools, learning in the context of professional and technical training, learning science, video games for entertainment, and piloting aircraft.
Overall, the research involves the disciplines and techniques of psychology, neuroscience, computer science, data mining and complex modeling in addition to the content expertise needed for each specific project.

Public research - Industrial research
NeuroLab's collaborative interests involve both scientific and industrial partners. As needed, NeuroLab offers tailor-made partnerships from sporadic support to the full realization of a research project in our laboratories. NeuroLab is indeed able to offer high-quality support in the design of educational neuroscience projects and / or using real-time measures of cognition and emotions, as well as in the use of our specific equipment in related fields. NeuroLab also provides equipment rental and laboratory time. Thanks to its experienced technician and its competent research assistants, the partners can envisage a ready-made or tailored data collection carried out at NeuroLab, with or without preparation and subsequent analyzes. A meeting with the director of NeuroLab could help you better establish your needs and see the extent of the possibilities offered by NeuroLab.
Industrial partners interested in our research results or the use of our facilities are welcome. NeuroLab can participate in R&D initiatives supported by private investments and research projects in partnership with industry. Partnership research projects with the public, para public and private sectors, as well as with organizations from civil society, are supported at Neurolab with the indispensable aid of the Partnerships and Innovation Support Service (SePSI) of UQAM. Students wishing to carry out their research project in our facilities are invited to make an appointment with the director of NeuroLab to discuss ideas for a dissertation or thesis project. Collaborations in terms of student supervision with colleagues from UQAM, universities in Quebec and abroad are also possible.
It should be noted that requests for internships as part of a Masters degree from France must be accompanied by a note from the research director or the program director supporting the application and guaranteeing administrative support.

Finally, with the aim of disseminating knowledge, the NeuroLab team offers continuing education sessions on various subjects to scientific audiences (e.g. conferences, congresses) and interested professionals (e.g. school boards, professional associations, and non-profit organizations).

NeuroLab is funded by the following agencies and organizations :

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