What are the effects of exercise on memory? How does napping impact motor learning? Can video games improve visual search accuracy? 

These are the kinds of questions YC psychology students and their peers from across the state will explore and present at the Nebraska Psychological Society annual conference (registration), hosted at York College on November 4. This conference will bring psychology students and educators from Nebraska colleges together to share research methods and findings. It will be an opportunity for students to practice their presentation skills and receive feedback from their peers as well as professionals. 

“Our students will hear other student presentations and will also present what they have been working on in their senior level, capstone social science research class,” said event organizer Lindsey Eckert, assistant professor of psychology at York College.

Senior psychology students can pick any research question they want to explore for their capstone project. They then work closely with Dr. Jaclyn Spivey, chair of the department of psychology, to hone the question, reduce variables, design an experiment, and measure results.

“Our students develop their own research, generate data, and present on their findings. It is a valuable process for them professionally,” said Eckert. 

Psychology is one of the most popular majors at York College. Eckert reports that the department is a good mix of students who will go into research and clinical positions, and those who plan to pursue ministry and counseling. 

“Most of our students are planning to go into graduate programs immediately after they finish here, so this project and the conference is an important part of their preparation for their next step,” said Eckert. 

The keynote speaker for the NPS conference at York College will be Dr. Reyna Gordon, a cognitive neuroscientist and director of the Music Cognition Lab at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.