ACSHF faculty, Dr. Elizabeth Veinott, hosted the 2019 CHI Play Doctoral Consortium workshop for the 2nd year. This time the CHI Play conference was held in Barcelona, Spain from October 22-25. Dr. Veinott enjoyed working with 11 doctoral students from Universities on four continents. CHI Play is an interdisciplinary ACM conference for researchers across all areas of play, games, and human-computer interaction.
Russell Shilling, PhD, guest host for Speaking of Psychology and chief scientific officer for the American Psychological Association, sat down at APA2019 to talk with Shawn Doherty, PhD, and Kaitlyn Roose, MS, to discuss the psychology of esports, the benefits of gaming on higher level cognition and the culture of video games.
If you would like to listen to the full podcast, click here. The link also provides a full transcript and video of the interview.
Kaitlyn Roose has been named the Director of Esports at Michigan Tech, Director of Athletics Suzanne Sanregret announced on Monday (Nov. 4). Roose is the current President and Co-Founder of the Esports Club at Michigan Tech, and a mentor for the Husky Game Development Enterprise. She is pursuing her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors Psychology.
“Kaitlyn brings vast experience in gaming—including scouting, analysis, research and competitive play—to her new role as the Director of Esports. Additionally, she was a softball student-athlete during her undergraduate collegiate career,” Sanregret said. “I would like to thank the search committee for recruiting such an excellent candidate. We are thrilled to welcome Kaitlyn to the Michigan Tech Athletics family, and I look forward to working with her as we grow our esports program.”
“I firmly believe that video games are changing our world,” Roose said. “I came to Michigan Tech to do game research, and I feel blessed to have been heavily supported in this endeavor. I love the interdisciplinary work my department is doing, I appreciate the collaborative and empowering environment it has provided. I intend on creating that culture within the Esports program, inspiring students to challenge themselves and each other while succeeding inside and outside of the classroom. Suzanne and Joel (Isaacson) have done an incredible job doing industry research, interfacing with other programs, and evaluating the potential impact of the program at MTU.”
Roose has over seven years of competitive gaming experience and has achieved respective ranks in the top 10 percent of the player base in Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm and League of Legends. She has scouted opponents for two playoff contender teams, analyzing both individual and team levels. She also has experience writing about, streaming and shoutcasting Esports while also serving as the primary spokesperson and visionary for the Esports Club. Under her term as President, the club has doubled in active members and number of games.
“I’ve always wanted to work in a position that allows me to be a leader, serve in a mentorship capacity and continue doing meaningful research,” added Roose. “I am honored to have been chosen, and I thank the committee for having confidence in me and allowing me to finish my degree in the process. What people say is true: You never leave Michigan Tech, and being a Husky is always a part of you. I’m excited to begin my career with the support of my Michigan Tech family and spearhead this program as a demonstration of how Michigan Tech is truly paving the way for a better future.”
Roose completed her Master of Science in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors in December 2018 from Michigan Tech. She conducts her research as a part of the Games, Learning, and Decisions Lab in the Cognitive and Learning Sciences Department. She has conducted multiple studies investigating decision making, problem solving and attention in games and has disseminated the results at several international conferences (CHI Play, Naturalistic Decision Making, APA). Roose has been on an Esports panel and interviewed by the Chief Scientific Officer of the APA about psychology in Esports (LINK).
Roose played two seasons of varsity softball and two seasons of club rugby at Gannon University while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She earned NCAA DII Individual and Team Academic Achievement Honors, as well as National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Scholar-Athlete Honors, and was named a PSAC Scholar-Athlete while playing third base. She earned Gannon’s Presidential Scholarship, graduated Summa Cum Laude and was one of 10 finalists for Gannon’s Medal of Honor.
Michigan Tech became the first public school in the state to announce a varsity Esports team in August 2019. Competition will begin with the 2020-21 academic year. Current Michigan Tech students or prospective students interested in being a part of Esports at Michigan Tech should click here.
Dr. Kevin Trewartha, Director of the Aging, Cognition, and Action Lab, accompanied by two of his current PhD candidates, Bridget Durocher and Isaac Flint, attended the Society for Neuroscience convention to present their research. This year represented the 50th annual convention, and it was held in Chicago, IL. This convention is one of the largest international conventions for the study of neuroscience with speakers and exhibitors from all around the world. Opportunities to meet Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine in 2000 Eric Kandel for his work on signal transduction in the nervous system, global industry leaders in neuroscience technology, and leaders on the forefront of brain research were all part of this year’s experience.
Bridget Durocher presented preliminary findings of her research investigating whether acquisition, and short- and long-term retention measures of motor learning can distinguish between amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI), Alzehimer’s disease (AD), and healthy aging. The ultimate goal of this work is to potentially supplement existing neuropsychological measures for diagnosing AD. The need for additional or new techniques to diagnose AD in its earliest stages is essential in extending the quality of life for our future generations. The current standard testing procedures often miss the early onset phase of the disease process, leading many years of missed opportunities to manage the disease effectively. In the current project we are investigating whether the early stages of motor learning are affected by MCI and early AD, and whether those patients exhibit additional impairments in short-term (i.e., within session) and long-term (after a 24-hour delay) retention of a newly acquired motor skill. Initial results are encouraging, and support our hypothesis, but it should be stressed that these data are very preliminary.
Isaac Flint presented findings from work investigating whether younger and older adults differ in the ability to make optimal corrective actions for collision avoidance during reaching movements. This work showed that when making motor corrections in response to visual feedback perturbations, both older and younger adults are equally able to make optimal decisions when correcting their movements to avoid collisions with obstacles. However, older adults make less efficient movements indicated by longer movement times, exhibit increased rates of collision, and delayed electrophysiological responses to the visual feedback perturbations. The efficiency with which older adults made corrective actions was also correlated with cognitive measures of executive control, and processing speed.
In addition to attending the conference Bridget and Isaac took some time to explore the city, learning to navigate Chicago’s public transportation, and visiting various spots including the Harold Washington Library Center of the Chicago Public Library, Little Italy, Millennium Park, downtown shops, and the lakefront. Having a diverse population to network with along with the unique cultural opportunities Chicago has to offer made this convention an excellent opportunity to explore both cognitive neuroscience and human factors.
Dr. Peter Stacy received and accepted an invitation to provide a keynote presentation at the 18th Annual International Conference on Attachment and Early Childhood Development. The conference took place in Ulm, Germany between Sept. 13 to Sept. 15, 2019. It attracted over 900 attendees from throughout Europe. In introducing Dr. Stacy, the conference administrator spoke of his 20+ year research effort as gaining national and international recognition due to its unique approach of using an intrafamily research design in identifying the role that early childhood attachment plays in differentiating a resilient sibling from his/her non-resilient sibling.
Dr. Stacy’s presentation included a review of his research findings followed by discussion of effective treatment strategies that seek to address early childhood attachment disorders. The presentation closed with a brief question and answer session.