Demonstrating Research on Cognitive Functioning in Virtual Reality to Lawmakers

September 25, 2019

At the Coalition for Health Funding Public Health Fair, FABBS partnered with our member society, the American Psychological Association (APA), to showcase the innovative work of two University of Iowa researchers. Dr. Jodie Plumert, a psychologist, in collaboration with Dr. Joseph Kearney, a computer scientist, use virtual reality to study child pedestrian and bike safety – risk free.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) put on the virtual reality headset, participated in the activity, spoke to our scientist at length, and even tweeted about her experience. Our scientists had the opportunity to thank her for her support of NIH and to explain the importance of funding basic behavioral research. Rep. Roybal-Allard serves as vice-chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee of Labor Health and Human Services with jurisdiction over NIH and IES.

Before and after the fair, FABBS and APA staff brought our scientists to meet with the Iowa delegation, including Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Representative Loebsack (D-IA), who indicated his interest to visit the Hank Virtual Reality Lab when next in the district.