Department of Psychology

Research Units and Facilities

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The Department of Psychology is home to several research units and houses a range of equipment used for non-invasive psychological research.

Supported and maintained by our team of technicians, our facilities are used by academics and students from undergraduate to PhD for both teaching and research. Our highly qualified and skilled technicians have varied skills with backgrounds in psychology, computer science, life science, graphic design, systems engineering and IT.

The team have a breadth and depth of knowledge which allows them to deliver expert, high quality services. The technicians are well integrated into research and the education programmes and are always on hand to help students access equipment and testing facilities.

The bulk of our facilities are housed in our Centre for Brain Science at our department on Colchester Campus. Additional specialised psychology labs can be found in the department building, and we also support the gathering and analysis of qualitative data through software and platforms such as Qualtrics.

Our research mission “Understanding our place in the world” is supported by research activity grouped into three broad themes: thinking about the world, interacting with the world, and experiencing the world. The Department is committed to combining staff expertise from different areas of psychology to foster high-quality multi-method research that allows us to ask penetrative questions and address issues directly impacting society through the combination of these different lenses.

Following this approach, the EEPRU has been created to study how our understanding, experience and interactions influence illness management; our Centre for Brain Science allows us to bring together staff and students’ speciality expertise and state-of-the-art brain imaging methods with research projects benefiting from a multi-method and multi-disciplinary approach. Research conducted at the Babylab focuses on infant development. The team is dedicated to sharing neuroscience evidence with the public to support new parents.

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Tour our department online

Can't visit our Department of Psychology in person? We know it can be hard to visit Colchester campus. That's why we've brought our department to the digital world, letting you see our facilities with our virtual 360 tour.

Take our virtual tour

Specialist labs and facilities

In our Babylab, we study the development of perceptual and cognitive abilities in infants. The lab is equipped with non-invasive cutting-edge technology to help us better understand how young children perceive and act on the world around them. We use an eye-tracking device to gather data about their visual preferences, and a baby-friendly EEG system to record the natural brain activity in response to different tasks.

Observation suite with one-way mirror, testing room and observation room equipped with video recording facilities.

Visual perception lab with head mounted eye-tracker; telespectroradiometer; intuitive colorimeter; precision tints; optometric trial lenses; monochromator; photometers and a range of clinical optometric test equipment.

Cognitive perception lab with ASL variable-speed, remote pan/tilt optics eye-tracker, with video head tracking and Cambridge Research Systems VISaGe system for precision colour stimulus presentation. Includes VISaGe stimulus generator, 22" precision colour monitor, for threshold measurement and calibration facilities for both screen presented and paper stimuli. Two portable touch screen computers with writing tablets.

Two psychoacoustic hearing labs, with a total of four high spec double-walled soundproof booths, with OAE recording facilities.

Group testing suite consisting of multiple neighbouring cubicles, whose computers can be interlinked to allow real-time group behavioural studies.

A photo of a baby standing up and reaching for some bubbles floating in front of it, with "University of Essex Babylab" in red and purple text on the left.
Essex Babylab

The Essex Babylab works to understand how babies and infants grow and develop, from learning to understand language through to becoming social, and how best to support new parents.

Learn more about Essex Babylab