Working in the CCL lab: some background

The CCL lab is much like a business. We manage a budget and have very tight deadlines.  However,  our products are not cars, DVD players, or spatulas.  We produce and analyze empirical data corresponding to several different lines of research.  Each of these lines is guided by one or more falsifiable theories (i.e., you can prove them wrong).  We rely on converging evidence from different techniques (EEG, MRI, Neuropsychology) to gradually accrue support for our theories. 

It is very important that you first gain an understanding of our theory and hypotheses before you leap into the complex set of tools that we use to test these theories. Here is come useful background reading on some of the areas of research we are now tackling.




Learn human subjects confidentiality, & IRB guidelines

Most of our research involves human subjects. There are strict ethical guidelines for conducting human subjects research and protecting Private Healthcare Information (PHI). You must complete the following trainings. Send your training certificates to Jamie.

  • CITI Basic Course in the Protection of Human Subjects Research (specific module below)
    • Social & Behavioral Research Investigators 

  • Practice Runs Training

In addition, you will need to create a profile for yourself on Temple's Electronic Research Administration portal. Follow instructions for first time users here.

Learn these computer programs: 

  • E-Prime       We use this program to present stimuli, record demographics, and log response accuracies and latencies. Complete the tutorial first. Then program your own simple experiment. See Jamie for guidelines. 
  • R                  R is an exceptionally powerful statistical program that does beautiful plotting. Its functions are command line, so there is a steep learning curve.  The miracle of R is that it is free. Complete the R CodeSchool tutorial. and the GGPlot tutorial
  • Excel            I know that people rip on Microsoft, but Excel is a workhorse of a program. We use it all the time.  Learn the following functions: rand, concatenate, basic averaging, if/then conditional statements, cell anchoring, and macros.
  • Audacity       You are working in a speech and language lab. Did you think it would be possible to survive without learning how to operate a waveform editor?  
  • Photoshop    Our days of creating figures in Powerpoint are over. 

Learn how to conduct lit searches, annotate and organize libraries:

  • PubMed       Professors often assume that you are born with innate knowledge of how to conduct literature searches. This is not the case.  The most common database we use is PubMed.  It's got some trickiness to it.  After 15 years it often still thwarts me. Here's a tutorial on how to tame this beast.  
  • Mendeley      Free reference software? What's not to like?