Methodology of my last SONA participation

So last week I enrolled in a simple SONA study looking at face identification.


It was rather simple; I was asked to do 8 different computer tasks that required me to identify faces and monitors this through reaction times.

The debriefing to this study highlighted to me that I was a participant into an investigation into Congenital Prosopragnosia and my results would be used to develop a baseline test for people with this condition and perhaps shed light on deficits and even benefits people have with this condition.

Overall it was an interesting study when discussing with the researcher the implications of the study, which is nice to receive after studies. And I have learned that reaction time studies can be rather fun


6 thoughts on “Methodology of my last SONA participation

  1. Its nice that you enjoyed the SONA experiment as some of them can seem quite tedious and often boring!

    Perhaps to add slightly more detail to your blog you could have explained a few of the terms or explained the deficit slightly more.

    Prosopagnosia is the inability to recognise a face based solely on the visual aspect and recognition is achieved through other cues such as the voice. Lesions to the right hemisphere have been linked to difficulties with the visual field, however it is thought that there are a number of factors which lead to prosoapagnosia.

    This particular type of Prosopagnosia, Congenital, refers to a deficit which is present from early childhood, however. There are many questions still being asked as to the causes of this deficit because in most cases there are no sensory or intellectual problems.


    Hecaen, H., & Angelergues, R. (1962). Agnosia for faces. Archives of Neurology, 7(2), 92-100.

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  3. I did this study too, and I thought it was pretty cool as well. Reaction time experiments can be pretty tedious to do but I think that the reasons behind this experiment were what made it particularly interesting. Our ability to recognise human faces is an important part of our day-to-day lives, especially in our social lives and those who develop prosopagnosia as a result of brain damage find it extremely confusing and debilitating. Whereas those with congenital prosopagnosia lead largely normal lives and can usually differentiate between people quite accurately and efficiently, albeit using different cues (hair-style, mannerisms,style of dress, gait etc). Overall, it is a very interesting condition; I really enjoyed being a part of a study into it and I’m glad that someone else did too. 🙂

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  5. With this study, did you get many breaks between the trials as 8 is a lot of trials to have to do. I find that when there are a number of short breaks it makes the experiment so much more enjoyable. The use of short breaks and counterbalancing can reduce the effect of fatigue and order effects on the data which is very important. When a participant is bored and tired of completing repetitive tasks they are much more likely to perform poorly! I did two eye tracking experiments within the space of a few days. One had regular, the other did not. I can tell you that the one with breaks was much more enjoyable, I felt better as I left the study and I know that I performed to a much higher standard. Makes sense really. I know for my 3rd year project I will keep this in mind.

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