USM hosts prestigious psychology conference

The University of Southern Mississippi served as host for the recent North American meeting of...
The University of Southern Mississippi served as host for the recent North American meeting of the International Society for Ecological Psychology.(University of Southern Mississippi)
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 12:07 PM CDT
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From University of Southern Mississippi Communications

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - More than 50 scholars gathered on the University of Southern Mississippi campus to talk reality, perception and how different disciplines can entwine to examine our existence.

The 2022 North American meeting of the International Society for Ecological Psychology collected experts in the studies of perception and action, cognitive psychology and experimental psychology from across the United State and around the globe,

For three days last week, cognitive psychologists, kinesiologists, philosophers, engineers, university faculty and graduate students gathered for discussions and presentations

“This was the first in-person gathering of this group after COVID,” said Alen Hajnal, USM School of Psychology associate professor at the Trent Lott Center. “We’re grateful for the support of the University in hosting this event.”

Hajnal, who organized the event, serves as coordinator of USM’s School of Psychology’s Brain and Behavior Ph.D. program as well as the school’s Perception Action Cognition Laboratory.,

He said the meeting hoped to further the understanding of cognition from a perspective treating the mind, body and environment as one system that should be studied together.

“We had lively, informative discussions and presentations, tremendous networking opportunities, and the establishment of new science collaborations between participants in the study of cognition,” Hajnal said.

For recent Western Kentucky University graduate McKenzie Gunter, last week’s scientific communion was an eye-opener.

Gunter, who will be joining Hajnal’s Perception Action Cognition Lab this fall, made a presentation on her collaborative research project, “Aging and the Perception of Tactile Speed.”

“For an incoming graduate student, it really meant a lot to have a chance to present here,” Gunter said. “The opportunity to meet with and talk to scholars in the field from varying age groups and fields of expertise.

“It’s been an amazing experience because I’ve learned a lot from seeing and hearing about all of the other research that has been presented and discussed.”

The USM School of Psychology is in the College of Education and Human Sciences.

For more information about the college and school, visit

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