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Texas A&M Unlocks Complexities of Human Behavior with Biometrics at SXSW

AUSTIN, March 11, 2017 – Texas A&M University’s Human Behavior Laboratory, the world’s largest of its kind, will revealed 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.

Michelle Segovia, a graduate student in the Department of Agricultural Economics, presents her research on human behavior at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.

The panel discussion, “The Human Lab: Revealing the Emotional Brain,” brought 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 took place on March 13 at the Hotel Van Zandt in Austin, Texas.

“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.

“Working closely with the Texas A&M team on realizing their ambitious project and seeing their lab come to life has been a wonderful journey. This lab is a big win for the future of utilizing biometric measurements in research on a large scale”, said Peter Hartzbech, Founder & CEO of iMotions, a biometric research software company assisting Texas A&M’s endeavors with their platform.

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.

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


Communications Manager

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Texas A&M University


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