Texas A&M Unlocks Complexities Of Human Behavior With Biometrics At SXSW

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Texas A&M University’s Human Behavior Laboratory, the world’s largest of its kind, will reveal the effects emotions have on human decision-making and the broad range of benefits provided by understanding and predicting such behavior during South-by-Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Week.

The panel discussion, “The Human Lab: Revealing the Emotional Brain,” will bring together four Texas A&M researchers with expertise in marketing, economics, education and science for a thought-provoking conversation on advanced biometric technology and its applications for the improvement of human lives around the world. The event will take place Monday, March 13, 12:30-1:30 p.m., in the Lady Bird Ballroom at the Hotel Van Zandt in Austin, Texas.

The Human Lab Interactive Kiosk will be available Saturday through Monday.

“The Human Behavior Laboratory is the kind of real-world advancement at which Texas A&M excels,” said Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp. “By making biometrics cheaper and faster, researchers will be able to take their work out of the lab and into the marketplace for the benefit of everything from marketing to biomedical engineering to political science.”

Nearly 100 experts from different disciplines across Texas A&M are working together with revolutionary biometric technology that operates at lower costs and higher speeds.

“Through significant advancements in biometric technology, our faculty members are able to conduct a broad range of human behavior research that gives us a better understanding of complex human behaviors in real-world situations,” said Texas A&M President Michael K. Young. “The research is so compelling and the potential so promising that we are building a new, state-of-the-art facility, which is scheduled to open this summer, and we are prepared to launch multiple research and outreach projects that are already funded to the tune of more than $12 million in grants and contracts.”

By collecting physiological data, including heart rate, perspiration, eye movement and cognitive engagement, the researchers are able to explore ways that fact, reason and intention intertwine with conscious and subconscious emotion in making decisions ranging from food choices and exercise routines to academic pursuits and financial planning. The technology holds potential to unlock benefits for markets and sectors including business entrepreneurship, computer science and gaming, nutrition and health science, relationship and group dynamics, and education and learning, among limitless others.

“We are excited about bringing together so many leading researchers and advanced technology to deliver insights never before produced at this scale and speed,” said Dr. Marco Palma, director of the Human Behavior Laboratory.

Throughout SXSW Interactive Week, March 10-15, the Hotel Van Zandt will become the “The Texas A&M House,” a stage for the groundbreaking discovery and innovation conducted at Texas A&M, a tier-one research institution.

SXSW is historically known for bringing together global professionals, brands and cutting-edge vendors from a diverse group of industries, and Texas A&M is one of just a handful of universities showcasing at Interactive Week.

For more information about the “Texas A&M House” at SXSW, visit sxsw.tamu.edu, and to learn more about SXSW go to sxsw.com.

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About Texas A&M University: Texas A&M, established in 1876 as the first public university in Texas, is one of the nation’s largest universities with more than 66,000 students and more than 440,000 living alumni residing in over 150 countries around the world. A tier-one university, Texas A&M holds the rare triple land-, sea- and space-grant designation. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $892.7 million in fiscal year 2016. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. The school’s Lead by Example campaign is a comprehensive effort to raise $4 billion by the year 2020, making it the largest higher education campaign in Texas history and the second largest conducted nationally by a public university. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and a strong desire to serve.

Media contact: tamunews@tamu.edu 
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