With Major Research Instrumentation support, Dr. Franco Delogu and his collaborators will acquire an integrated eye tracking system to collect and analyze comprehensive sets of eye-movement data for research and research training in the behavioral sciences at Lawrence Technological University (LTU), a primarily undergraduate institution in the Metro Detroit area. The instrumentation allows developing a large set of experiments involving the acquisition of bio behavioral data crucial for understanding a number of cognitive processes connected to eye movements. At LTU, it will advance research activities and research training in several different disciplines, and will be used as a technological bridge able to link disciplines, departments, colleges, and institutions. Disciplines that will be directly supported by the instrumentation include psychology, computer science, biomedical engineering, literary studies, marketing, and architecture. The broader intellectual and societal benefits of the instrumentation acquisition include educational initiatives that advance learning experience, community engagement in metro Detroit and industry partnership. Specifically, the investigators will integrate eye-tracking methods in the development of Course-Based Research Experience (CRE) in classes within LTU, at community colleges and high schools located in socio-economic disadvantaged areas in metro Detroit. The CRE initiative at LTU is currently adopted as a systemic (more than 30 courses involved) intervention for increasing retention rates of non-traditional students in STEM. Outreach activities will also include the use of eye tracking methods in the LTU business incubator for small companies involved in the next generation robotics, haptics, and other quantified-self themed consumer devices.

The eye tracking system consists of a screen-based eye tracker (Tobii Spectrum 600), a wearable eye tracker (Tobii Pro Glasses 2), and dedicated software for eye movement analysis (Tobii Pro Lab). The integration of the three components will allow the establishment of a flexible and complete eye tracking research facility at LTU. A wide variety of collaborative research projects involving personnel and students from all the four colleges of the university and external collaborators will be developed with the support of the eye-tracking system. Such projects include: 1. Advancing research in the field of multisensory interactions in spatial cognition; 2. Advancing the understanding of the experience of art by providing quantitative data in the experimental aesthetics of visual art, literature and poetry; 3. Understanding biomechanics factors in daily living activities; 4. Improving control interface design in internet of things research with a specific focus on the study of indoor lighting and active shading control as a function of eye pupil size; 5. Providing drivers' state assessment and understanding factors influencing the level of trust in autonomous cars in connected and autonomous vehicles research; 5. Understanding the influence of emotions on visual attention in advertisement; 6. Analyzing visual scanning of health-related labels; 7. Advancing knowledge on human behavior in real-world shopping scenarios; 8. Optimization of wayfinding systems in public spaces; All projects include multidisciplinary teamwork which is intended to nurture collaboration within LTU departments and colleges and between LTU and other institutions to increase competitiveness in extramural funding acquisition and scientific dissemination.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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Lawrence Technological University
United States
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