National Geographic shoot

Updated: Nov 28, 2017

Katie Couric and Steve Aoki came to campus for a television series shoot.

Very little research has examined the effect of #digital personal technology use upon the brains of ordinary individuals. Fortunately, our Brain Imaging Laboratory possesses the right equipment for measuring #brain activity while people are in realistic settings. I always am happy to share what I know about the topic with non-scientists.

Visit to the Laboratory

On Monday, November 20, I had the privilege of sharing my research (done with Dr. Nancy Cheever and Dr. Larry Rosen) with Katie Couric and Steve Aoki. They and their crews came to the laboratory to ask questions about personal technology use and the brain, and to get a demonstration of our psychophysiological and brain imaging equipment.

The Reason Behind the Visit

Katie and Steve allowed us to hook up our functional near-infrared spectroscopy and we imaged their prefrontal cortices. We will be analyzing their data to see how a loud, distracting cellphone affected their concentration on a computer task. Katie plans to use the footage in an upcoming television production.

Apparently, the knowledge that the two were on campus spread throughout the day among the students. Crowds of students gathered outside of the laboratory entrance as we were filming. Steve graciously posed with students outside of the laboratory, granting selfies and photo ops.

Excellent Support from the Lab!

As usual, the laboratory team provided wonderful support during the filming. Many thanks to the students--Enya Valentin, Amaranta Ramirez, and Jessica Guszak--for helping to make the visit a success! And, without José Franco's excellent technical assistance, we could not have pulled off the brain imaging demonstration!

(Pictures by Nancy Cheever and Jessica Guszak)

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