Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lab Building Necessitates Goo Cleanup Plan

Putting together a psychophysiology lab is not altogether unlike raising a child. It's a long, arduous task that is nonetheless extremely rewarding.

The big parts are expensive but simple and quick to buy.

But all of that money gets you nothing more than a lab full of expensive toys that do not play nicely together. The art -- and fun -- come in the little, $6 parts that make everything "go."

We invested the afternoon shopping at Lowe's and RadioShack.

First, there was the matter of cleaning electrodes. Frankly, we're sick of cleaning electrodes in the palaces of filth and stench known as the public restroom. This was fine at Ohio State, where we had a sink in the lab.

At Tech, we had to solve the problem anew.

In addition, in checking with one of the world's experts in startle probe methodology, it's bad to be running those expensive electrodes under tap water. Seems that those little silver/silver chloride babies are reserved for only distilled water from a nalgene squeeze bottle.

So the communication and cognition lab is implementing a new system.

Master's student Wes Wise suggested a utility sink with a catch bucket.

This is a great plan ... except ... someone has to empty the bucket containing distilled water, electrolyte gel, and participant, err ..., juice.

To whom should this job fall?

The inventor, of course.

So, according to lab minutes, and I am quoting here, Wes's new title is, "master goo disposer."

Above is a picture of the exact sink we bought today at Lowe's.

Lucky Wes.

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