You sometimes hear about people’s brushes with famous people. I don’t know if it was exactly fame which brushed me, but I was certainly made to do a double-take. I was watching TV a couple of weeks ago, flipping through the channels, when a face caught my eye. It was a guy, about the same age as me, on some Canadian-made film, and he looked undeniably familiar. But I had no idea from where I knew him.
Then, yesterday afternoon, I was bonked on the head with the answer: this guy was one of the students for whom I was a teaching assistant at Dalhousie. He was in one of my sections of Psych 2000!
All I remember from then was that he was not particularly interested in his academic achievement. What, I wonder, was he doing at the same time to capture his attention? It’s neat to see a familiar face on TV.
First real chance to sit down and write since Friday. I thought my lab was big before. Well, its just increased by 200%! There were seven grad students, and we’ve just been assigned 14 undergrad students taking an independent studies course. I think it might work out though; another grad student and I have already figured out enough experiments to keep half of them occupied for the term. It’s interesting, our lab space was just renovated because it was too crowded for six grad students to work in at once, and now, even thought its bigger, the area might get totally congested again.
Speaking of those experiments, I think I finally have narrowed down the projects which I’ll be working on, at least for the first term. More faces. I’m going to collaborate with the fellow grad student mentioned in the previous paragraph on some studies involving gaze direction. Chris has been working for a couple of years now on how the direction of a person’s gaze affects how we direct our own attention. It seems that even if we know that another’s gaze will tell us nothing about the location of a target for which we are searching, we can’t help but follow the line of the other’s gaze. Chris has shown this in a number of experiments, but there are still a bunch of “what ifs” that I can tackle. The second project involves the faces upon which I based my undergrad thesis. I had participants identify the faces for my thesis, and now I’m going to do a visual search with them, sort of a “face in the crowd” idea.