Posted on Wednesday 11th July 2012
Students and staff interested in becoming more expert in using the event-related potential (ERP) approach to studying human cognition were recently treated to a rare event on the University of Birmingham campus. The Birmingham Boot Camp (BBC) was held (28-30 June) in the SportEx building with over 100 people in attendance. This mini boot camp was conducted by Professor Steve Luck (University of California, Davis), an acknowledged world expert in the ERP approach, who has authored a book (Luck, S. J. (2005). An Introduction to the Event-Related Potential Technique. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press) on the topic selling over 6000 copies and soon be revised in a second edition. The full boot camp, lasting 10 days, is normally offered only in the USA with the BBC being the second of two mini boot camps offered by Luck while travelling through Europe. The first was offered in Copenhagen earlier in June.
For three days novice and experienced students and staff from over 10 countries including Japan, China, the U.S.A., Canada, Netherlands, France, Spain, Germany, and the UK were steeped in lectures and a hands-on workshop covering topics such as data collection, data analysis, and choosing the right ERP components. Prof. Luck has a considerable depth of knowledge on the topic but is also a very entertaining lecturer, taking questions on any aspect of ERPs even during the lunch and coffee breaks. The BBC was organised by Kim Shapiro and Chris Miall (and ably assisted by Christian Rawle, Sara Assecondi, and Claire Miller) and by all accounts attendees were very pleased with the event. Plans are afoot to offer another mini boot camp next summer.