SIG: Inclusion in Neuroscience - Post 8
Author: Joshua Hernandez
Undergraduate intern for the B-RAD Lab at the University of Alabama
In our SIG meeting today, we discussed a guide published by Lietsel Richardson (BRaIN Lab at the University of Central Florida) and a Webinar hosted by Black in Neruo. Our lab has decided to upload the guide to better understand the nuances of the document and to offer up Lietsel’s fantastic research to a wider audience. From the guide we understood that the protocols and recommendations that she developed were much more applicable in nature than other articles we have discussed in the past. The Black in Neuroscience online seminar specifically discusses the guide as well. They highlight letting the participant know about the mechanics beforehand (as to try and schedule their sessions on wash days), have more education in research spaces on textured hair, and better understanding of hair as something that is culturally significant and should be treated as such. The online seminar was specifically curated by two POC EEG researchers and two POC hair stylists. A specific problem presented by one of the researchers trying to get a grant to study textured hair was that because there was no specific research suggesting that that was a problem in neuroscience, many grants did not end up funding her. Right now, there is a certification that hairstylists can go through to work with textured hair, and EEG researchers are in the process of making instruments that are better applicable to those with textured and curly hair.
Our discussion centered the many ways in which we as white researchers could and have failed those with textured hair. We discuss how many times the biggest errors in EEG research are internal in nature (having to deal with the lab system) rather than environmental. Our assumptions about research and our participants can in fact impede our research. We agreed that research should be applicable to anyone, or at least by using it to help many diverse people. Also, there is no reason that those with textured hair should be receiving less quality medical care. Our lab discussed adding additional information in our outreach to participants and communicating with participants more. We think it is best to not leave all the hair altering or fixing to the participants. Instead, ask the participants what they are comfortable with and do what you can to make them feel most comfortable. Another great suggestion is potentially incorporating training on textured hair by a local hair stylist. Overall, we are very committed to uplifting inclusion in our lab and every other research space in our country.
Black in Neuro. (2021). Hair, Community, & Eeg. [Video] YouTube.com. Black in Neuro. Retrieved 2021, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuCwdp9uYFA.
Richardson, L. (2021, October 27). Eeg hair project - hello brain lab: The UCF Brain Lab. hello brain lab: the UCF BRaIN Lab - Helen J. Huang's Lab. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://hellobrainlab.com/research/eeg-hair-project/.
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