Student Profile: Sydney Rossback

Undergraduate researcher Sydney Rossback is examining the difference in right hand and left hand dominant brains.

Major: Exercise Physiology

Mentor: Dr. Chris Mizelle

Department: Kinesiology

Project Title: “What is the significance of hand-dominance in motor learning and motor control?”

I am studying the difference between right-handed and left-handed people and how they learn motor tasks. My study uses an electroencephalogram (EEG) to examine the differences in brain function during a test.

How did you get involved in undergraduate research?

When I was taking biomechanics my junior year of college, my professor offered me the position in his lab. I’ve loved it ever since.

Why did you choose your research topic?

I chose to study this because there had been preliminary research done that was similar to what I am doing. Half of my family is left-handed and half is right-handed, so I’ve always been curious about the differences between the two.

What’s been your favorite part of conducting undergraduate research?

My favorite part about doing research is making new friends who are extraordinarily smart. I love bouncing ideas and creating new things.

What challenges have you faced while conducting undergraduate research?

One challenge I have personally encountered is how long things take to actually get things done. It takes a lot of patience to do research the right way.

Why is your research important for the average, everyday person?

This research is important for therapy and teaching reasons. A left-handed person might learn and adapt to things differently than a right-handed person. Maybe therapies can be more effective if they are geared towards the correct handedness.

What’s your ultimate goal or accomplishment that you hope your research will help you achieve?

I hope that my research will initiate new research. My ultimate goal is to complete my study and then be able to publish something substantial.

How do you feel that participating in undergraduate research has helped prepare you for life after college?

Before I started research I only had one plan for life after college. Research has shown me that there are so many new paths I can take after undergraduate school.

Do you have any advice for other students interested in conducting undergraduate research?

Be persistent. Be patient. Have a true interest and love for what you are studying.