Rose Mary Shaw, Psy.D.
On March 23, 2018, DAPA board members and SOPP students from Wright State University volunteered as judges for West District Science Day. Hosted at Central State University, West District Science Day offers western Ohio students from grades 5-12 the chance to present their high-rated independent research projects and compete for various honors and sponsored awards. Members of DAPA and SOPP judged projects in the category of Behavioral and Social Sciences, which includes research in the areas of clinical and developmental psychology, neuroscience, and social psychology.
DAPA helped sponsor the Behavioral Science Award, which is awarded to a student whose project reflects creativity, skillful methodology, and a passion for behavioral science. The purpose of this award is to promote scientific research in the field of psychology at an early level. This year the Behavioral Science Award at the West District Science Day was awarded to Brianne Snider and her project, “Music Memory” which studied how playing an instrument may benefit memory. All DAPA and SOPP volunteers had a terrific time judging and supporting budding behavioral researchers. DAPA volunteers included the current SOPP Student Representative , Peyton Jones, and fellow SOPP student volunteers, including Anthony Sumpter, Walter Garcia Hernandez, Katie Abrahamowicz, and Stacey Henry.
Below is the abstract of Ms. Snider’s project.
This science experiment investigates the correlation between playing an instrument/rhythm and a person’s memory. After researching, my hypothesis is that playing an instrument benefits your memory. If your brain is able to associate an object to a beat or sound, it is more likely to store and remember it. Being a musician myself, when playing a song there is a specific timing you have to follow. What the brain does is correlate the note and its position to a certain pitch, and then to the timing you have to play. To test the hypothesis, I am having kids who play instruments and kids who do not play instruments watch two videos. One video has no rhythm or beat, and the other video does. The kids who play instruments should be able to remember better because they are already accustomed to associate an object to a certain timing. Overall, a rhythm should help people remember better in general, so I am hoping to see growth in both groups for that variable. In addition, kids who do not play instruments should show some growth when comparing their tests, but they should not be able to remember better than kids who play instruments.