Our project is a box that utilizes Joseph E. Ledoux’s research to communicate that the subjective and objective states of fear are generated by two systems within our brain: one is responsible for physiological responses triggered by the amygdala, while the other elicits the “feeling” of fear and is related to areas of the brain that generate cognitive processes. This finding argues against the prior assumption that fear was generated by one system in the amygdala.
Our box will simultaneously educate about and elicit fear from users through display text on acrylic panels, a diagram of the brain formed by el wire, and tactical/sensory components within the box. When the user approaches it, they will be exposed to introductory text and audio about the research described above. They will then be encouraged to stick their hand inside a hole in the box, which will trap their hand and force them to interact with the internal mechanisms. The interior has three components on each side of the box: a rotating object akin to a drill, a vibrating motor, and a variety of soft/slimy materials. Each one will light up related content on the panels that delves into detail about each system in the “two systems” framework.
If the user wishes to leave or has completed perusing the contents they can press a button located on the top of the box to release their hand. Afterwards, they will receive a sticker and conclusive information about the research at the end of the experience.
Players communicate using visual clues and indirect information to help one another evolve three distinct species of monkeys, each with its own unique facial pattern. The fewer shared facial pattern components, the healthier the community and the better the outcome for everyone.
Advance all three monkey markers to the outer ring of the character displacement scale before the cards run out and you’ve aced the evolution game.
Monkey Face-Time was inspired by guenon monkey facial pattern and character displacement research conducted by the Primate Reproductive Ecology and Evolution Group at NYU’s Center for the Study of Human Origins (CSHO). The game is designed to foster mental models of complex evolutionary concepts through playful interaction.
Mass Extinction is an interactive exhibit inspired by the work of Dr. Michael R. Rampino, a professor in the Biology and Environmental Studies Department at New York University.
As a geologist, Rampino’s research focuses on mass extinctions – cataclysmic events that wipe out large numbers of species in a relatively short period of geological time. Rampino studies the causes of mass extinctions, the geological evidence that they happened, and their lasting impact. His work is done both in the lab and out in the field, where sedimentary rock layers can be examined for clues about Earth’s history.
You are invited to step into the shoes of a geologist with this interactive. Using a tablet, you can excavate the rock layers and scan for evidence of mass extinctions. AR components will provide bite-size pieces of information to teach you more about geological history.
CRISPR detective is a three-module educational exhibit that we created for the final project for Playful Communications of Serious Research. The first module introduces the user to concepts like DNA, genes, mutations, and metastasis, as well as learn about CRISPR, a new tool. The second module is an analog data splicing experience, where the user has to use tactile clues to identify a mutation. The third module is an arcade-like game, where users compete to identify members of the “metastasis mafia” from a giant pool of genes.