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The University of Southampton
Psychology

Centre for Visual Cognition to present at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

Published: 27 May 2011

Researchers Tamaryn Menneer (http://royalsociety.org/summer-science/2011/scientists/tamaryn-menneer/) and Hazel Blythe, together with other members of the Centre for Visual Cognition, have been chosen to present research on airport security baggage screening at the Royal Society Summer Science exhibition in July (http://royalsociety.org/summer-science/2011/airport-security/). They have been awarded a £13k People Award from the Wellcome Trust to support their exhibit, and have also secured sponsorship from the Experimental Psychology Society and SR Research.

The exhibit will present research conducted at the Centre for Visual Cognition that measures eye movements to understand why it is more difficult to search for two objects at once than to search for those two objects separately. This fundamental limitation on visual search has implications for many complex screening situations. For example, might security screening be enhanced if screeners conducted two separate searches for threat items, e.g. one for guns followed by one for bombs?

The Wellcome Trust’s People Award supports public engagement events (http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/), as does The Experimental Psychology Society (http://www.eps.ac.uk/). Their support will enable the exhibition team to maximise this opportunity to promote science to the community. The eye-tracker used in the research and demonstrated at the exhibit is an EyeLink 2k, bought from SR Research (http://www.sr-research.com/), which is also sponsoring the exhibit. Support has also been gratefully received from The Southampton Neuroscience Group (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/song/).

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