An Example Experiment
If you were to come to the Reading Brains Lab to participate in an experiment, you might first take some behavioral tests. For example, we might ask you to read aloud a series of words printed on a card, or listen to a series of numbers and repeat them back to us after a delay, or name a series of letters printed on a card as quickly as you can.
Then we would place the electrode cap on your head [see ERP Technique] and prepare each electrode for recording brain waves. Once each electrode was ready, you would be seated in the comfortable chair in the sound-attenuating booth. You might be asked to look at the computer monitor in front of you and read sentences presented one word at a time. You might be asked to press one button on a gamepad when the sentence made sense and a different button on a gamepad when the sentence did not make sense. It might look something like this:
[The babies won’t drink the milk from their bottles.]
[The babies won’t drink the songs from their bottles.]
You would get to read lots of different sentences and make a decision about each one. The experiment might last about 20 minutes.
We conduct lots of different kinds of experiments, so this is just one example of the type of thing that you might be asked to do if you came to the Reading Brains Lab. Some of our experiments are long and some are short, but a typical visit usually lasts about 2 hours. We know that that is a long time to concentrate, so we take quite a few breaks to chat and have snacks.