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Jacqui-Ann Doig, R.N., ’07

Gonzalez to present research poster on Capitol Hill

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Guadalupe Gonzalez, Bethel College senior psychology and business major from Newton, will present her research at an event in Washington, D.C., at the end of April.

Gonzalez’s proposal was one of 60 selected out of about 600 applications from students at 55 colleges and universities across the country.

She will be part of the 18th Annual Posters on the Hill, sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research, April 28-29 on Capitol Hill.

As the undergraduate research community works to ensure that those who serve in the U.S. Congress have a clear understanding of the research and education programs they fund, one effective demonstration of the value of undergraduate research is the student participant’s words, work and stories.

For Posters on the Hill, CUR invites representatives from federal funding agencies, members of Congress and Congressional staff to attend the evening poster session on April 29.

Gonzalez has titled her project “Event-Related Potential and Reaction Time Differences in Processing of Words Acquired in Early and Late Childhood.”

Research into brain function has demonstrated that the left hemisphere specializes in language processing and the right hemisphere in emotional and spatial processing.

A 2013 study found that words acquired in early childhood (3-4 years) are processed faster by the right hemisphere, while words acquired in late childhood (7-8 years) are processed faster by the left. In addition, there was an overall difference with early-acquired words processed faster than late-acquired words.

Gonzalez’s project investigated further how the brain processes words acquired at different ages, using 17 subjects, all students in Bethel psychology classes.

“Overall, our research suggests that language processing may also be a right-hemisphere process,” Gonzalez says in her poster abstract. “A follow-up experiment is being conducted with a larger sample size.”

Gonzalez’s project adviser is Dwight Krehbiel, professor of psychology.

The Council on Undergraduate Research (www.cur.org) supports faculty development for high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. Nearly 600 institutions and more than 5,000 individuals belong to CUR, which believes that the best way to capture student interest and create enthusiasm for a discipline is through research in close collaboration with faculty members.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2013-14 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2013-14. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see www.bethelks.edu.