Small scale lab studies (Flexperiment)
Large and open concept labs are not always the right choice for conducting experiments. Sometimes smaller, quieter labs are more suitable. BMS Lab recognized the need for isolated, flexible, disruption-free labs. Thus, the BMS Lab created the small-scale lab, Flexperiment rooms. When you need a small and easily controlled environment, you can use the Flexperiment rooms.
Space, equipment and possibilities
BMS Lab’s Flexperiment rooms consist of a total of seven separate, small cubicle lab spaces. Four out of the seven rooms are specialized in different areas, such as VR, usability, eye-tracking and scent. The remaining rooms are flexible to be adjusted for use according to your needs.
Additionally, the rooms are connected to a remote-controlled camera system and remotely monitoring the participants is possible. Thus, unobtrusive observation of the participants is possible. However, to record, you will need a permission from the participant.
The equipment and set up of the rooms allow for a variety of experiments, from interviews to procedure testing. For instance, researchers have used the rooms for usability tests. In each of the rooms, you can find a computer, desk and chair, in addition to the specific equipment in the four specialized rooms. Additionally, they are suitable when experimenting with new products or technologies.
You can read more about the different specializations of the rooms here.
Flexperiment opens the possibility for a variety of research. Researchers use the specialized room for smaller-scale experiments with one participant at a time. For example, researchers may use the room with eye-tracking equipment to conduct usability tests and precisely observe the eye movement of the participants or use the scent machine for consistent following of the reaction of the participants to different smells. Thus, the Flexperiment cubicles open the opportunity for research in multiple domains, from marketing to human behaviour studies.
A recent study focused on investigated motor learning. By using the equipment provided in the rooms, making comparisons between backward chaining, forward chaining and whole task practice using the discrete sequence production (DSP) task. The researchers assessed the underlying cognitive processes. Another study tested whether eye fixation location influences motor sequence learning by conducting a DSP task. The participants pressed sequences of keys while looking at an X. The X was either on the left or right side of the screen. To check whether the participants were looking at the X, ToBii pro 2 eye-tracking glasses were used. Additionally, the researcher booked a chin rest, so the participants were more comfortable while doing the lengthy task. The chin rest made the image of the eye-tracking glasses was more steady. A different study combined VR and fNIRS, and focused on relieving phantom limb pain that amputees experience.
Finally, you can watch the videos to see more example studies.