Student Research

Student Research

Ryan Mangum 

Ryan has conducted research utilizing bilateral transfer (transfer of learning across brain hemispheres) as an indicator of potential basketball performance. Using mirror-tracing to demonstrate bilateral transfer, participants from collegiate menís and womenís basketball teams traced star shapes with their dominant and non-dominant hands (counterbalanced ordered).  Improvement between trials displayed bilateral transfer. While mirror-tracing exercises have been a method of measuring bilateral-transfer for over 100 years, but never before has performance on mirror tracing exercises been used to indicate athletic performance. Using the Player Efficiency Rating (PER), players exhibiting bilateral transfer were compared against players who did not exhibit bilateral transfer. Comparing performance on mirror-tracing exercises with basketball player efficiency ratings, it was determined that predicting how well a person can play basketball is achievable by first measuring his or her bilateral transfer ability with mirror-tracing.

Bilateral transfer is the passage of motor skill learning from one hemisphere of the brain to the other. Mirror-tracing exercises have been a method of measuring bilateral-transfer for over 100 years, but never before has performance on mirror tracing exercises been used to indicate athletic performance. Comparing performance on mirror-tracing exercises with basketball player efficiency ratings, it was determined that predicting how well a person can play basketball is achievable by first measuring his or her bilateral transfer ability with mirror-tracing.

Skylar Hanna 

Skylar has conducted research on the effects of caffeine and ginseng on a decision making and planning abilities in young adults.  The participants were administered caffeine, ginseng, or 200mg of each and administered the Tower of Hanoi. The Tower of Hanoi is a decision making task in which rings must be moved across three pegs in order in build a tower. Participants that were administrated only caffeine showed a significantly higher scaled achievement scores compared to the groups that received only ginseng or a combination of caffeine and ginseng.  From these results, it was determined that the combination of caffeine and ginseng do not appear to have a positive impact on planning and decision-making in young adults.

Joshua Brendible

Joshua, a graduate from the psychology department at NNU, was able to spend a month in Greece to conduct research for the "Fairy Tale Test." He presented related results April 2010 at the Western Psychological Associationís 90th Annual Convention in Cancun, Mexico.