MRU Centre for Psychological Innovation gives students access to new technology

Click to play video: 'MRU students to benefit from new psychological innovation centre'
MRU students to benefit from new psychological innovation centre
WATCH: As David Boushy reports, the university hopes the centre’s use of new technology will lead to cutting-edge research – Apr 5, 2017

Fourth-year honours psychology student Josh Stewart can’t say enough about Mount Royal University’s new Centre for Psychological Innovation.

“It opens up a ton of options and a ton of doors,” Stewart said.

He’s especially impressed by all the new technology, from eye-tracking equipment and software to the virtual reality (VR) lab.

And he should be – it cost the university $1.4 million.

A virtual reality beach scene. Global News

The centre officially opened during a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday.

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Tony Chaston, the psychology department’s assistant chair, said it’s hoped the new technology will help undergraduate students produce research that rivals that of post-graduate students in other institutions.

“State-of-the-art technology that allows you to do state-of-the-art research,” Chaston said.

“So we really hope this allows faculty and the students at Mount Royal to really contribute to cutting-edge research, research that can be published, can be discussed at conferences, and have those students and faculty actually go to conferences and present the research that comes out of this lab facility.”

A student looking at snail under a microscope in the MRU biological psychology lab. Global News

It’s also part of MRU’s gradual transition from a college to a university.

“This is one more step in Mount Royal making that complete transition to a university, where we’re doing university-level research.”

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For his part, Stewart appreciates the ability to employ the technology uninhibited in his VR research. And he said that’s probably the case for most students.

“As far as I know and in my experience, it’s definitely a much wider access for undergraduate students.”

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