Yesterday I received a nice tough guy hat from (bike 2 out of 5 days to work). On twitter they had a action where if you followed their Twitter account and retweeted a certain message, you could win the wicked hat. Normally I don't participate in these kind of actions, but promoting cycling to work did pay of for me. Last week I heard that I was one of the two people who had won a hat that day.


After my work I could try out the new hat when I cycled to the GMW building or the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (University of Groningen, RUG). I was expected there for a physiological test with a driving simulator. The boyfriend of a colleague of mine was looking voor guinea pigs for his study who wanted to take a ride in the simulator whilst their brain waves, heart rate and eye movements were measured. I liked it. But before you can start all kinds of sensors have to be attached to your belly, shoulder, face and head. It's attached with a sticker and then it's filled with a gel using a needle so it makes good contact with the skin. After that I was hooked up to a device that measures the resistance. The face was always a difficult place to get a low resistance (preferably 10 KΩ or less). Apparently I was quite a dry person because it usually stuck around 20 KΩ. The belly and head should go better, but that wasn't so. The desired value for the head should be 5 KΩ, but I got stuck around 20 KΩ. Well, it will have to do.

Driving simulator psychological test (applying sensors)

After taking the simulator for a spin to get used to it we could begin. There was a total of 16 different rides with all kinds of speeds and difficulty grades. The screen would show a target value and a actual value of the amount you were swerving from left to right. The purpose was to stay below the target value. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it failed horribly. After each ride you had to fill out a form to indicate how difficult it was and what the estimated speed was.

Driving simulator psychological test (the simulator)

Driving simulator psychological test (at the wheel)

After we finished (a bit more then two hours later) we could finally remove the sensors. All that remained was a bunch of dried up gel. Fortunately it was easily removed with some water and a little elbow. I couldn't find out what the were researching, but it was fun to participate.