NOM is based in the Department of Communication, College of Communication Arts & Sciences at Michigan State University. Our mission is to integrate communication science with cognitive neuroscience in order to understand how messages are processed by the brain, the biological organ of communication. Naturally, we also hold a healthy interest in AI and computational methods to rigorously quantify communication content, reception mechanisms, and effects.
The NOMLab is the best because* it .
* Texts are generated by an AI transformer model and may thus include hallucinations and exaggerations!
In our research, we capture message-evoked brain responses via using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG/ERP), and related imaging methods. The benefit of these methods is that they do not interrupt or interfere with the reception process, circumvent reporting biases (like retrospection, social desirability), and that we can capture multiple processes simultaneously from different regions (e.g. implicit processes like emotion, attention, as well as conscious processes). We combine these methods with self-report, linguistic measures, and behavioral testing. Moreover, because the arrow of causality starts with the message itself, we also conduct quantitative analyses of multiple layers of message content (from acoustic analyses to NLP to semantics). By elucidating how the brain mechanisms set forth by messages give rise to cognitive and emotional effects - in single individuals as well as in audiences at large - our research serves as a bridge between cognitive neuroscience, media psychology, and mass communication.
One of our roles is to provide a unique interdisciplinary learning environment for communication scientists who seek to embrace cognitive neuroscience or biopsychological approaches to communication more broadly. We do our best to help all members pursue the next step in their career.