Upfront

For the first time, APA's Annual Convention featured live science research demonstrations to showcase the ways psychological research benefits everyday life. The APA Science Showcase—which was open to the public—featured the work of three scientists:

  • Michael Proulx, PhD, of Queen Mary University, London, who won the showcase's top prize for "best demonstration" for The vOICe. This visual-to-auditory sensory substitution device, invented by Peter Meijer, PhD, of the Netherlands, translates visual images into sounds. The device enables blind and blindfolded users to identify and locate objects simply by hearing sounds.
  • Beth Karlin, of the University of California, Irvine, who collaborated on the uci@home project, an innovative approach for conserving energy in homes. Based in part on psychological research, the system gives people immediate feedback on their energy use through a wireless network of "smart powerstrips" that communicate with a central hub and send information to people's smartphones and other devices.
  • David Schroeder, PhD, of the Federal Aviation Administration Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (retired), who presented the Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT), invented by psychologist David Dinges, PhD. PVT measures sustained attention, psychomotor speed and impulsivity among workers in high-intensity jobs. During his presentation, Schroeder demonstrated the PVT Self Test and discussed how PVT and other tools are used to assess sleep and fatigue in operational settings.

—S. Martin