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picture of Department entrance



Trinity College University


July 8th – July 10th 2009

ATSIP Dublin Report 2009

The Annual meeting took place 8-10th July 2009 at Trinity College Dublin. Last visited in 2005 there have been some major changes within the college and City. We met for reception in the department at 5pm and thereafter frequented O’Neill’s in Suffolk Street for the initial evening refreshments which consisted of some find food and Guinness’s and lively Irish music later.

The conference was opened by chairman Patrick Holahan who welcomed us to Trinity and the department and started by saying the meeting would be dedicated to Keith Nicholson (who had died a few weeks earlier) formerly of John Moores University in Liverpool who had been the conference organiser in 2008.

The first talk of the meeting on the 9th July was by Dr Paul Dockree on "Electrophysiological Signals from EEG and Understanding Lapsing Attention" a rather mouthful but certainly informative subject. An explanation of EEG, with applications of the EEG method with cognitive tasks that are boring but could be fatal (radar screen and detecting a blip) were given.

After coffee we were given a presentation by Professor Hugh Garavan on FMRi (Functional Imaging) using maps of the brain in MRI to detect mental arithmetic and language tasks, etc some of which have implications for legal matters (Impulse Control in brains could be measured).

This was followed by a guided tour of the Neuroscience dept and its two MRI scanners.

MRI Control room

After lunch we had David Hevey in Health Psychology talking on aspects of Risk Perception - a very educational piece looking at the subjective judgment that people make about the characteristics and severity of a risk. This was followed by Leah Chaffer from Salford University on Eye Tracking Research who gave a comprehensive master class on using the latest eye-tracking technologies available including spatial patterns, reading the internet using the Web User Self-Efficacy scale. After tea Richard Plant from Higher Education Academy (HEA) talked on the development of the Psychology Repository database see here and the announcement of this year’s winner/s of the HEA/ATSIP Award for technician/demonstrator.


The main evening conference meal was a 30min train ride away at Bray within The Martello Hotel a fantastic location and superb sea views across the Irish Sea and Bray Head.

The food and drink and opportunity to socialise were suitably engaged in.


The Friday morning started with Peter Beaman Loughborough University talking about CPD (Continued Professional Development), pros and cons and developing our skills and talents within and outside the work environment to good effect. The results of the technical staff CPD online survey were disseminated relating to awareness/activity of CPD and barriers to it. This was followed by Kevin Mitchell (Genetics dept, Trinity College Dublin) on “Synaesthesia and the genetics of perception" which looked at the condition and Familial patterns and the origins of individual differences in synaesthesia. The last part was the AGM which discussed/elected the committee, membership and sponsorship issues and debated the next year’s ATSIP conference. The AGM also nominated a new award called the Keith Nicholson Prize for best ATSIP Talk at future events which will be in the form of a Shield and monetary value sum.

Next year in 2010 our 25th anniversary we are hoping to be back in the UK, the venue is under review.
Peter Beaman


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