Neuroscience Takes on the Symposium

More than 100 research studies were presented at the 2021 Piedmont Symposium, but senior psychology major Kaden Carter was the only one that actually focused on the process of research, specifically human subjects research.

In her presentation, “The Hidden History of Neuroscience,” Carter discussed how research is more ethical now than compared to how it was gathered in the past. 

“(The researchers) main goal is to protect the rights and welfare of human subjects during research,” she said. 

Carter works for Dr. Cynthia Vance with research applications on human subjects under neuroscience. Dr. Vance is the coordinator of Human Subjects Research and a professor of Psychology at Piedmont University. Together, Carter and Vance go through applications approving or disapproving the applications based on what the proposed research methods.  

In the presentation, Carter also talked about the importance of organizing pertinent documents together, especially consent forms when in the initial stages of creating a research proposal. Carter explained that the process was long, but in order to be able to conduct responsible research at Piedmont University, it is well worth it to keep students and faculty in an ethical environment.  

History Professor Ryan Franklin found the historical context in Carter’s presentation intriguing.

“I thought the presentation was overall quite interesting. I especially found the presentation’s segue from the Nazi experiments to the Milgram experiment to be intriguing given that the latter was conducted simultaneously with the Eichmann Trial in Jerusalem,” said Franklin, “The students did a solid job elucidating this more “hidden history of neuroscience.’”  

Franklin also agreed that the experiments discussed in Carter’s presentation were unethical, and he believes that it is great that Piedmont University has created a very extensive process in order to conduct research at the institution.

Carter finds pride in her role as an integral part of this process, and like many other students, senior business major Leslie Lopez was unaware of the amount of research that goes on at Piedmont University.

“They presented some really interesting facts. I thought it was really informative and something that, as a business major, I don’t really hear a lot about.” said Lopez, “It was really interesting to hear what they had to say.”  

Carter explains that most of the research applications are a mix of independent research projects and doctoral students who are getting their dissertation, but despite this Carter embellishes the opportunity to work with these studies.  

“I enjoy working in research because it provides me with opportunities to learn about the importance of ethics in experimentation and the knowledge of how research works. In the future, I can refer back to what I have learned and experienced while on the job,” said Carter. 

-Kaden Carter 


-Leslie Lopez

-Ryan Franklin 


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