Psychology graduate student Brian Stone received the People’s Choice Award for his presentation at the UGA Graduate Student Association’s Interdisciplinary Research Conference on April 12.
Stone’s research focuses on the way the brain uses information from the senses to keep track of where the body is in space. This sensory information lets the brain know what is part of the body and what is an outside object.
By manipulating people’s senses in the lab, psychologists have found that the brain can be tricked.
In his presentation, Stone highlighted the connection between sensory psychology and fields like robotics and engineering. Short-term applications include designing better prosthetics.
“(We can use) sensory tricks to incorporate an external object, like a prosthetic, into the body for someone like an amputee,” Stone said.
The chance to discuss these broader implications of his research was what drew Stone to present at the Interdisciplinary Research Conference.
The conference allowed Stone and other students to get feedback from members of the UGA community outside of their own discipline.
Faculty enjoyed the chance to interact across disciplines as well.
“We get too siloed into our worlds,” said educational psychology professor Bonnie Cramond, who attended the conference. “To talk to students in completely different fields is so interesting.”