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Faculty of Science
Laurier graduate student runner up for national poster competition
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Have you ever caught yourself raising your voice during a conversation with a high-pitched speaker? Or begin to flail your arms when speaking with a so-called “hand talker?”
Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but that’s probably due to the fact that people mimic without being consciously aware of it, according to Laurier graduate student Jeremy Hogeveen.
“Non-conscious mimicry” (NCM) is a phenomenon that refers to how people unintentionally mimic the postures, mannerisms or facial expressions of the partners they interact with, and it’s what Hogeveen is currently researching with psychology professor Sukhvinder Obhi.
“Social psychology has yielded much literature on NCM, but that work has yet to uncover an underlying brain mechanism,” said Hogeveen. “This is where our research comes in – we are using various techniques from cognitive neuroscience and tools such as electromyography and transcranial magnetic stimulation to empirically link a particular neural mechanism to NCM.”
Hogeveen’s research earned him the runner-up position in the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science (CSBBCS) poster competition, held at Dalhousie University in Halifax in June. He won a free CSBBCS membership for 2011.
“Jeremy's achievement is fantastic, and even more impressive when you consider that students from all over Canada were in attendance, including PhD students from many top-flight, research-intensive universities,” said Obhi. “This result helps put Laurier on the map for cognitive neuroscience research, and demonstrates that we can compete with the very best in the country.”
Hogeveen has been conducting his research through Laurier’s Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, and recently completed the first year of his Master of Science degree. Obhi says Hogeveen shows immense promise as a young researcher, and that his research is innovative because it fuses social psychology with cognitive neuroscience.
“Laurier’s Department of Psychology is currently home base for a number of high-quality researchers, and I was proud to place in the competition as our school’s only student representative at CSBBCS,” said Hogeveen. “That being said, because part of my prize was an extended membership for next year, I will try my best to bring back a first place in 2011.”