Brad Celestin, senior psychology major from Newton, is the author of one of only 74 — out of more than 850 submitted — undergraduate research posters that were selected to be part of the Council on Undergraduate Research Posters-on-the-Hill presentation in Washington, D.C., April 24.
Not only was he selected for presentation at a national conference this year, Brad had already been a presenter at a national event in 2011. Last November, he and his major professor, Dwight Krehbiel ’69, traveled to Washington, D.C., where Brad was one of about 160 student presenters from colleges and universities across the United States at the FUN Undergraduate Research Poster Session.
The poster Brad presented at both conferences was titled "Neural Correlates of Implicit Sexual Identity Bias as a Function of Religiosity." It was based on his senior thesis project, in which he studied electroencephalographic responses (event-related potentials or ERPs) and behavioral reaction times to pictures by people who were also given religious prompts in the form of biblical texts usually associated with homosexuality.
Reaction time measurements showed that test subjects were slower to pair favorable adjectives with pictures of same-sex couples than of opposite-sex couples. ERP results indicated that these slow responses were accompanied by strong emotional responses, which were modified by the biblical texts.
For a news story about last fall’s trip, go to here.