Department of Experimental Psychology
The Department of Experimental Psychology is led by professor Jüri Allik. We are studying human perception and behaviour including vision, automatic change detection (i.e., mismatch negativity, lead by professor Risto Näätänen) in audition and vision, affective perception and its relations to personality, behavioural impulsivity, cognitive abilities etc. with psychophysical and psychophysiological (e.g., EEG and fNIRS) methods. Our responsibility is also to teach experimental psychology and its methodology, cognitive psychology and related disciplines in the Institute of Psychology. The department is characterized as being creative, dynamic, open to ideas and very collaborative.
The history of experimental psychology in Tartu dates back as far as to the 19th century, when Emil Kraepelin (a student of Wilhelm Wundt, who was the "Father of experimental/scientific psychology") began with experiments and supervising doctoral dissertations on experimental psychology in 1886. During the 20th century the leading researcher on experimental topics for over a half of a century was Konstantin Ramul (1879-1975).
Nowadays two of the department's researchers, professors Jüri Allik and Risto Näätänen, belong to the top 1% of the scientists in their field (based on the references to their papers during the last decade). Many younger researchers have their own successful research projects. We also collaborate closely with professor Talis Bachmann's laboratory of attention and consciousness.
Investments in infrastructure let us use some of the top research methods for eye tracking (Tobii and EyeLink), stimulus presentation, electroencephalography (EEG), functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) etc.