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  • Meet our New Data Science Consultant - Autumn!

    Autumn Weeks, Ph.D. is a data science consultant with two years of experience in statistical analysis and modeling. Autumn earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Colorado State University in 2006 studying nootropics and the kinetics of AMPA-type glutamate receptors. In May 2023, Autumn graduates from the University of West Florida with her Master’s in Data Science on the analytics and modeling track. The Data Science program at UWF focuses on machine learning, data mining, and statistical analysis. Autumn is excited to share her insights and expertise within these areas with the HCD team. As a data science consultant at HCD Research, Autumn is responsible for assisting in statistical modeling and interpretation of data. This will include developing accessible visualizations and creating new dashboards to summarize, share, and tailor data client reports. Autumn is committed to researching new and important questions while learning effective ways to model, visualize and interpret data. Outside of work, Autumn loves to swim and is an avid reader of sci-fi and fantasy novels. On many occasions, she has even been spotted in the wild reading and swimming at the same time. As a recovering Type-A personality, Autumn has lists for her lists and even makes lists of the books she’s read for fun. She also enjoys playing board games, exploring new hobbies and spending time with her family.

  • It's the Journey, not the Destination: Sensory Journey Mapping

    As seen in Insights magazine... The product experience is a multifaceted process. It involves not just the physical use of the product but encapsulates the messaging, branding, and consumer perception. Consumer decision-making requires the consideration of cognitive, affective, and sensory experiences, as these interactions do not live independently of one another. To have an effective impact on the affective experience, brands can tap into sensory cues to enhance the product story contributing to consumer decision-making. By incorporating the sensory experience into established tools, like journey mapping, brands can better develop a pleasurable and satisfying product experience from start to finish. Figure 1. Brand harmony is the idea that there is importance in ensuring that all products and experiences within a particular brand and brand portfolio have consistency. What is journey mapping? Journey mapping is one tool often used in marketing to capture levels of engagement, understand consumer decisions and behaviors, and uncover potential pain points and successes. These maps expose a myriad of moments in which the consumer either abandons or continues building the relationship with a brand or product. Exploring both direct and indirect contact with a consumer shows how the relationship evolves over time (Micheaux & Bosio, 2019). The chain of events throughout the product experience is often referred to as “touch points” because it shows the sequential decisions that the consumer makes while interacting with the brand. Journey mapping is a major focus for many teams because of the belief that creating a strong, positive experience will elevate its performance and improve customer satisfaction, which then promotes a healthy relationship (Lemon & Verhoef, 2016). The information regarding journey mapping traditionally has an emphasis on understanding the emotional, cognitive, and social aspects of decision-making; yet there is an element that remains relatively underrated throughout the overall experience: sensory performance. Regardless of the type of touch point, every experience is a multisensorial experience. The sensorial components that are being stimulated impact the consumer’s perception of the product because the sensory inputs communicate a message to the consumer. By addressing the various exchanges and responses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell throughout a product experience, companies can ensure they are communicating a congruent message that will propel a positive experience. Why sensorial mapping? As a consumer interacts with a product, each sensorial feature contributes to the overall impression integrated in the brain. These impressions impact much of the consumer response including, but not limited to, a consumer’s mood, interests, decisions, and overall perception (HBR, 2015). Accounting for the sensory experience can serve as a strategy to intensify brand identity and build stronger connections. This process can amplify and cue certain messages by evaluating and adjusting how the senses work in tandem at specific points in the product experience. Developing multidimensional considerations for the product experience increases the number of opportunities to innovate because of its holistic approach. Using touchpoints, companies can understand the relationship among the five senses throughout the consumer experience. By learning what the consumer perceives as prominent or obscure, companies can make sure that important aspects of the sensorial experience are not being overlooked or that a dominating sense is communicating the right message. Sensory footprint To display the rating data over the five modalities of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell, spider plots can be used to illustrate the sensory experience at that moment in time. This provides a cohesive visual representation of the sensory touchpoint, documenting what sense is driving the product perception. The spider plot gives a sensory profile in an intuitive figure, and when collected over various touchpoints, can reveal the need gaps within the product experience. Further, this type of evaluation can also be conducted on competitor products to see what is driving their sensory experience, giving companies a pairwise comparison opportunity to see what is and is not working throughout the overall experience. Figure 2. The sensory footprint is a tool for tracking how products are experienced via sensory systems like sight, smell, taste, touch & sound – 5 dimensionally. It is important to note that the sensory experience of a product shifts over time, as specific sensory elements claim or compete for perceptual dominance. Sensory footprints can track the relevance of the senses over a product experience, allowing marketers, R&D teams, and consumer scientists to craft a harmonious experience from start to finish. Sweet as candy To understand the sensorial journey of a product, consider a candy bar. The first interaction may not be in a store but through an ad. The first interaction may not be in a store, but through an ad. Seeing the bright colors and hearing the upbeat music may be pulling the sensory experience more so than something like taste or smell. But when the consumer is in the store aisle and sees the candy bar again, the visual sensory experience may still be prevalent based on the messaging and package design, but it is now paired with the added layer of the texture of the box and the outer shell the candy is encased in. The tactile experience then continues if the consumer chooses to purchase the treat and unravel the foil or take off the sleeve to reveal the actual candy. At this moment, the aroma of the candy may take precedence until the inevitable first bite where taste finally becomes prominent, and the flavor profile is either inadequate or satisfying. Everything leading up to that bite is setting the stage for what is to come. Each of these small moments imprints a message on the consumer about the product experience. Whether it is leading with visuals or smells, the sensory experience must provide an accurate depiction of what not only the first bite, but every bite will entail. This is why it is so important to make sure that the sensorial properties of the overall experience are congruent. The truth is that each of these interactions must work with each other to create a seamless, special experience that meets the consumer’s expectations. By matching smell to the taste to the designs, there is a sense of trust built between the consumer and the company that the consumer is getting what they paid for. Figure 3. Sensory Journey Mapping can be a valuable tool for understanding the consumer experience. Conclusion Every company benefits by acknowledging the multisensory experience that occurs throughout the use of a product. Car companies capitalize on the “new car smell,” while clothing stores brand themselves by having buttery smooth fabrics. Sensory input is intertwined and messy, but by using methodologies, like the spider plot over the entire experience, companies can identify the channels that are most impactful in creating a positive experience. By embracing cross-functional collaboration to build a product, companies can design product experiences that guide consumers to make informed decisions in a simple, impactful, and enjoyable way. Citations: Lemon, K. N., & Verhoef, P. C. (2016). Understanding customer experience throughout the customer journey. Journal of marketing, 80(6), 69-96. Micheaux, A., & Bosio, B. (2019). Customer journey mapping as a new way to teach data-driven marketing as a service. Journal of Marketing Education, 41(2), 127-140. The Science of Sensory Marketing. Harvard Business Review. (2015, February 17). Retrieved October 17, 2022, from

  • HCD Research Webinar Series Recap: A Frank Discussion on 'Junk Science' in Emotion Research

    The lack of understanding of what "emotion" is has become apparent as business interest in understanding and measuring consumer emotions to improve products and services grow. While it may seem easy at first to identify basic emotions, like happiness, sadness, and anger, defining the nuances of feelings and mood spaces can be a significant challenge, as the term "emotion" means different things to different people. But the problem becomes even more obvious when trying to measure emotional changes. Many of the issues plaguing emotion research can be attributed to a misunderstanding of the science and a reliance on researchers who are pressured to push the limits of what tools and technologies can measure. To satisfy expectations and keep the topic flashy, emotion research often falls short, with problems ranging from misused, overgeneralized tools to overreaching and unsupported claims and interpretations from those measures. Recently, HCD Research hosted a webinar bringing together an expert panel of emotion researchers including Pedro Almeida, PhD from MindProber, Toby Coates from MMR, Michelle (Lani) Shiota, PhD from Arizona State University, and Tian Yu, PhD from Aigora to discuss the challenges of conducting sound emotion research. This webinar aimed to shed light on these issues and provide guidance for conducting impactful emotion research. Keep reading to hear some highlights from the webinar and learn how to avoid the pitfalls of “Junk Science” in emotion research. Let’s try to define “emotion.” To kick this conversation off, HCD’s Michelle Niedziela, PhD prompted the panelists to try to explain exactly what is an emotion. Michelle (Lani) Shiota, PhD caveats the question by explaining how the word “emotion” is an umbrella term for psychological and biological experiences that are sometimes associated with behavior. She defines emotion as “a moderately instinctive response to what we believe is happening in the environment, and the implications of what is happening to our environment for our own well-being.” In an attempt to capture this vague, multifaceted phenomenon, researchers use tools and technology to act as imperfect indicators and help us better understand the motivation for such reactions. Why is it so easy to make a mistake when looking into emotions? Because psychological constructs are NOT real, concrete things that can be measured without error Pedro Almeida, PhD acknowledges a lot of emotion research is motivated by clients who are interested in proving the quality of their product and may use several approaches to find one that supports the narrative they want. The emotion measures- from self-reported responses to fMRI- are not the problem; it is the assumptions that are made about the measures. Changes measured are not equivalent to the construct being measured but serve as an indicator or proxy because of the correlations validated in research. Sweat gland activity strongly correlates with arousal, but it is a much looser correlation when the construct of arousal is stretched to something like fear or lying. Complicated emotional experiences involve context and nuance and make it challenging, sometimes impossible, to attribute the same correlations to specific scenarios. Let’s talk about implicit association A big distinction came about during the conversation surrounding the topic of implicit association testing. Lani addresses how often people assume it is a measure of emotion when, in fact, this test reveals concept associations, or the extent people associate a target concept word with a concept. This reaction is based on a cultural network of knowledge, which means it may not be equivalent to how we feel. Implicit testing focuses on associations between two concepts, yet the affective response about that association requires different measures, such as self-reported responses. But, Michelle calls out that this is why it is important to remember that one tool alone will never tell the whole story. The importance of data quality Tian Yu, PhD emphasizes how crucial it is to use the tool to collect the right type of data by asking, “Is the data enough to support the question you are asking?” She goes on to share that the model can only predict what the data has seen. Conversations around Emotion AI reveal that clients often push researchers to use tools for the sake of using them or want to generalize and extend the data to mean something untrue about emotion. Toby Coates plays devil’s advocate by empathizing with clients who are enticed to use certain interfaces that make it seem simple. “The truth is that there is nothing wrong with technology… [Facial coding] is not measuring emotion at all, it is measuring small facial movements.” Toby goes on to mention how context is lost in only focusing on the face rather than accounting for things like body language. When have you gone too far? Pedro shares that the best way to avoid over interpreting the data is to develop a hypothesis and a pre-analysis plan prior to data collection. “We try to do things hypothesis based. Let’s build this set of hypotheses, and those are the things that we will be looking at the data on. We then need multiple instances of a given event… if you have so many events, you can average out everything else that is happening. This is a really hard thing to do.” Educating clients about the proper way to do research can be challenging, but there is a space where academics and industry leaders can work together to explore these mechanisms. The most effective partnerships come from defining a good question and setting good boundaries together. The future of emotion research So, what does the future hold? Here are some thoughts about opportunities in emotion research: “Activation of measures in real-time, processing data with validity, and having outcomes of value. I also believe the [neuromarketing] industry will be scrutinized and use academic consultants to make the research better.”- Pedro “Think about how these measures correlate with behavior rather than trying to use them to understand what is going on in people’s minds.” – Toby “If we see the right form of the data and different factors that could affect helping these measures, we move forward on interpreting this measure to the right emotion”- Tian “We need to do research that integrates and acknowledges that when we talk about “emotion,” we are talking about loosely correlated phenomena that appear to have some type of motivational direction. Get out of the competitive space and understand better how that system works from the strengths that we have learned, and learn applications of behavior.” - Lani If you are interested in learning more about emotion research, please watch register for the recording here or contact Allison Gutkowski at for any other inquiries.

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    FAQ CONTACT US CONTACT US What is NeuroU? ​ NeuroU 2023 is a one-of-a-kind virtual educational symposium that will explore the intersection between emotion research and emerging technology. This event will focus on the challenging realities of navigating emotion research and how to appropriately integrate emotion data into meaningful and actionable insights. ​ Professionals from academia and industry, spanning from brand development to consumer insights, are invited to join the conversation and gain a comprehensive perspective on the latest advances in consumer research. The virtual event will cover not only the fundamental challenges of emotion research, but also cutting-edge technologies and real-life case studies presented by emotion researchers, experts, and end-clients. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with thought leaders in the field and gain practical insights on how to effectively leverage emotion research to drive consumer perceptions and behavior. ​ The NeuroU goal is simple: To inform evoke discussions, encourage collaboration, and deepen knowledge around the future of consumer insights. Who can attend NeuroU? ​ Anyone can attend NeuroU! Our event this year is virtual and free, so all can attend, no matter where you are located. All event sessions are scheduled in Eastern Standard Time (EST). Recordings will be shared with registrants after the event. ​ Whether you are in academia or industry, completely new to consumer and market research or a seasoned vet, or even perhaps someone already involved in using applied neuroscience methodologies, this conference will deepen your knowledge and spark discussion about new trends and methods when designing research methodologies. This event will help attendees gain a deeper understanding of current consumer insights approaches. ​ I want to present at NeuroU 2023! How can I submit an abstract? ​ It is, unfortunately, too late to speak or present at NeuroU 2023, but we would love to hear from you about other opportunities! Whether that means looking ahead to NeuroU 2024, or sharing your insights on our podcast series, HCD MindSet , or joining one of our webinars, we would love to discuss what future opportunities would be the best fit. Please email Michelle at to inquire further! ​ When is NeuroU2023? ​ NeuroU takes place on Tuesday, June 13 starting at 10AM EST. This event will take place virtually on Zoom. ​ Where is NeuroU? ​ NeuroU 2023 is completely online. You can register via this link or by clicking 'Register Here' button at the top of this page. ​ If you any issues, please notify ​ I didn’t receive a confirmation email after registering! What should I do? ​ Wait 5 minutes after registering for the email from Zoom to arrive in your inbox. Please also be sure to check your spam and junk mail folders. If you still do not see a confirmation email, please contact . ​ I registered for NeuroU and would like to see the early access content. What do I do? ​ If you are a first timer, or a NeuroU alumni, we welcome everyone to check out foundational education sessions from previous NeuroU. Please visit the early acess content at: ​ I can't attend NeuroU 2023. Am I out of luck? ​ Nope! All the sessions are recorded and will be available for registrants, so as long as you registered for the event you will have access to all NeuroU content. The recorded sessions will be shared with registrants after the event. ​ How can my company become a sponsor of NeuroU? ​ We would love for your company to sponsor this event! Please email to inquire further. Frequently Asked Questions NeuroU 2023 will be completely virtual. Access to the Zoom link will be emailed to registrants prior to the event. REGISTER HERE


    EARLY ACCESS: KNOWLEDGE LIBRARY SCHEDULE EMERGING SCIENCE | 12:30-2:45 EST | JUNE 13 MEASURING EMOTION | 9:30-12:00 EST | JUNE 13 Intro to Neuro: What is consumer neuroscience and behavioral sciences research? Michelle Niedziela, PhD, HCD Research Pre-Record: Early Access This introductory session will review a wide range of psychological, neuroscientific, and behavioral tools and techniques within the applied consumer neuroscience toolbox to help evaluate if you are using the right tool for the right question. ACESS COMING SOON Tools of the Trade: the Good, the Bad, and the Misused Sophia Stafford, HCD Research Pre-Record: Early Access Learn about the use (and abuse) of current methodologies in consumer research and how to stay on top of both foundational as well as novel theories and technologies. ACESS COMING SOON Welcome & Intro Michelle Niedziela, PhD, HCD Research 9:30-9:45 AM Welcome to NeuroU 2023, we are excited to learn and explore with you! But first, a few housekeeping items. Measuring Emotion - Some basic issues before we begin Herb Meiselman, Expert 9:45-10:15 AM The field of emotion measurement has expanded greatly over the past 10-20 years with application to consumer product development and evaluation. This has resulted in multiple approaches, each with multiple methods for emotion measurement. In this presentation, I will focus on the basic concepts of emotions to assist in approaching emotion measurement in a valid way. First, we need to carefully consider what are emotions in order to limit our work to valid terms and concepts. There has been a tendency to ask product experts for their preferred emotions to study, or to ask consumers for what emotions are involved in product use. But both of these sources might yield words that are not clearly identified as emotions. One way to validate emotion terms is to compare them to established lists of emotions; this does not guarantee that the terms are indeed emotions, but it certainly reduces the risk. While examining emotion terms, the question often arises whether all emotions are valenced, that is, positive or negative. That is the common conception of emotion, eliminating neutral terms. Finally, what is the best method to measure emotions, and there are several categories of methods, and many specific choices within each category. Until recently there has been some agreement that questionnaire or interview methods asking people how they felt was the best approach, although most people agreed that this method had biases. Recently, there has been greater acceptance of combining self-reports (extrinsic methods) with some of the behavioral and physiological methods (intrinsic methods) to yield a better coverage of emotions. TBD Pedro Ameida, MindProber Labs 10:15-10:45 AM TBD The inside out of emotions measurement Dan Alferov, Heartbeat AI 10:45-11:15 AM Emotions are a critical part of human experience, they facilitate mutual understanding, compassion and are a core part of our decision-making. While we can conceptualize their importance, the measurement of emotions across modalities and contexts remains a difficult challenge across research. Together we will explore the quantification of emotions from unstructured text data, the strengths and weaknesses as well as some ethical considerations for emerging AI approaches. Starting with identifying and classifying emotional language, all the way to combining semantic context with emotional dynamics to represent human experiences. Most importantly addressing key metrics like coherence, which tries to quantify how well our models relate to real-world human interpretations of experience data. All the while remembering that unlike computers, we are not always the most rational in our interpretation of the world, let alone when emotions are high. And perhaps most critically, that experiences are not directly additive or static, in the words of Snickers “you're not you when you're hungry”. Emotions: Panel discussion Herb Meiselman, Dan Alferov and Pedro Ameida, Moderated by Michelle Niedziela, PhD, HCD Research 11:15-12 PM Join panelists Herb Meiselman an expert in consumer and sensory research, Pedro Ameida of MindProber Labs and Dan Alferov of Heartbeat AI as they answer your questions and speak with Michelle further about the challenges and realities of navigating emotion research and how to appropriately integrate emotion data into meaningful and actionable insights. Your phone or your sense of smell? Valentina Parma, PhD and Jonas Yde Junge, PhD, Monell Chemical Senses Center 12:30-1:00 PM Most people dread the idea of a life without sight or hearing but are not preoccupied by living life without a sense of smell. We asked 1100 participants in 22 countries to choose between giving up - a sense (Hearing, Smell, Taste, or Vision) or a range of commodities (Pet, Hair, Left Little Toe, Cell Phone, 3 months' worth of salary, Social Media, Dream Vacation, Online Streaming, or Online Shopping). Our findings revealed three distinct groups of participants. The majority of individuals in our study were unwilling to give up their senses for any of the commodities we proposed. Another group of participants was willing to give up a sense in exchange for a commodity, with their sense of smell being the most common choice to sacrifice for their pets. Finally, a group of participants were indifferent to what they gave up, as they were equally likely to give up a sense or commodity. Interestingly, these groups of individuals were not evenly distributed across the countries investigated. Countries such as Nigeria, Peru, and Italy had a majority of participants who were unwilling to give up their senses. In contrast, countries like the US, Brazil, and China had more participants who weighed each question carefully. Lastly, countries like Thailand, India, and Germany had a higher percentage of participants who were indifferent and equally likely to give up a sense or commodity. Overall, our study showed that people value their senses more than any of the commodities proposed. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic's extensive coverage of chemical senses, the value of smell and taste remains underappreciated globally. Connecting the dots between implicit and explicit data sources to unlock deeper consumer insight Tessa Moxley & Stephen Lillford, Reckitt, Rachel Horn, HCD Research 1:00-1:30 PM Making sense of consumer response to fragrance can be challenging due to the subjective and individualized nature of both smell perception and emotion response. Higher-order benefits (e.g., emotion) and other more abstract attributes can be difficult for consumers to explicitly record. Consumer implicit association testing (IAT) provides an easier way for consumer to express these perceptions to fragrances and provide additional differentiation where traditional self-report shows parity. However, integrating and resolving implicit and explicit responses into actionable results and recommendations can be complex and challenging. In the current study, we explored how implicit response can help identify drivers of explicit liking using regression analyses (e.g., the role of authenticity in driving hedonics) and how the different perceptual attributes interact with one another. This multi-method approach to fragrance evaluation can target features that highlight or hinder brand harmony and ‘fit to concept’ in fragrance development. From Data to Insights: Predictive Modelling for Sensory and Consumer Science Research Vanessa Rios de Souza, PhD & Bartosz Smulski, Aigora 1:30-2:00 PM In this talk, we dive into the transformative role of machine learning (ML) in predictive modelling, specifically its applications in extracting actionable insights from historical data within the context of sensory and consumer science research. We aim to underscore the significant advantages ML-based predictive modelling brings to research and product development, such as accelerated time-to-market, enhanced decision-making, and the potential for more personalized consumer experiences. We will navigate through the challenges posed by predictive modelling, including data quality and availability, potential biases, and the risk of overfitting. Through practical use case scenarios, we will illustrate how these models can be adeptly applied to drive business value and enhance the R&D process. Emerging Science: Panel Discussion Valentina Parma, PhD and Jonas Yde Junge, PhD, Tessa Moxley, Rachel Horn,Vanessa Rios de Souza, PhD & Bartosz Smulski, Moderated by Michelle Niedziela, PhD, HCD Research 2:00-2:45 PM Join panelists Valentina Parma, PhD and Jonas Yde Junge, PhD of Monell Chemical Senses Center, Tessa Moxley of Reckitt, Rachel Horn of HCD Research and Vanessa Rios de Souza, PhD and Bartosz Smulski of Aigora as they answer your questions and speak with Michelle further about the future of research and applications of emerging sciences.


    Follow Us The HCD Team shares tons of informative content about our tools, methodologies, and overall experience in the market research industry every week. Follow along to engage in curious conversations, explorative blogging, & resourceful info on how to optimize your research initiatives. SPEAKERS Dr. Herbert L. Meiselman Dr. Herbert L. Meiselman is an internationally known expert in sensory and consumer research on food and other consumer products. He received his training in Psychology and Biology at the University of Chicago, University of Massachusetts, and Cornell University. He retired as Senior Research Scientist at Natick Laboratories where he was the highest-ranking Research Psychologist in the United States government. His accomplishments were recognized with a 2005 Award from the President of the United States. He has served in Editorial roles for Food Quality and Preference, Journal of Foodservice, and Appetite. His current interests include the effects of context/environment, emotion, wellness, psychographics, and meals and menus. Dr. Meiselman is the author of over 220 research papers and 8 books. He edited a large volume on Emotion Measurement in 2016 (2nd edition 2021), and on Context: The Effects of Environment on Product Design and Evaluation in 2019, and Meat and Meat Replacements in 2022. He also edited the multi-volume Handbook of Eating and Drinking (2020) which is now being revised as a 2nd edition. Dr. Meiselman has worked in a broad range of fields in sensory and consumer science: basic academic research, product development (food and clothing), institutional food service design and evaluation including hospitals and military, fine dining food service, health and wellness, culinary evaluation, and an historical approach to meals. He has served as President of the Research Committee of the Institut Paul Bocuse, Lyon, France, and also served on the Research Committee for the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York, and the food service program at Orebro University, Sweden. He has served as Visiting Professor at Bournemouth University, UK; Reading University, UK; Orebro University, Sweden; and Charles Sturt University, Australia. Sensory and Consumer Research Expert Dan Alferov I'm Dan Alferov, the Director of Empathy Analytics at Heartbeat AI. My role involves the intersection of behavioural research and data science to solve business challenges by leveraging emotional analytics of unstructured text data. I am passionate about authentically representing human experience to understand decision-making across diverse groups of individuals, and its implications within healthcare, human resources, and market research. Empathy analytics aims to uncover the emotional drivers which form the experiences of critical demographics and seeks to quantify differences in emotional language expression patterns that represent these drivers. I am a strong supporter of mental health advocacy, equity, and diversity. I believe in constantly educating myself on my privileges to best support social progress and amplify the voices of those who are systematically disadvantaged. Quantifiable empathy represents both an avenue for prioritization of the next "best" action strategically and a way to foster social accountability to best support social progress and allyship across diverse business contexts. Outside of work, I can be found reading philosophy, playing basketball, cooking or occasionally binging reality TV. Director of Empathy Analytics, Heartbeat AI Valentina Parma, Ph.D. Valentina Parma is the Assistant Director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, the only non-profit organization devoted to the study of smell and taste. She is a psychologist interested in human olfaction across the lifespan. Her basic and translational research both aim to find ways to use smell to improve health. Lately, she has been working at the development and validation of a rapid smell test called SCENTinel. Assistant Director, Monell Chemical Senses Center Jonas Yde Junge, Ph.D. Jonas Yde Junge is Postdoctoral Fellow at Monell Chemical Senses Center where he does research related to human olfaction and taste. He received his Ph.D. from the Food Science Department at Aarhus University in Denmark which focussed on taste interactions. Postdoctoral Fellow, Monell Chemical Senses Center Bartosz Smulski Bartosz is a highly skilled engineering graduate in Mechatronics with 6 years of experience in Artificial Intelligence. He has a track record of developing analytical solutions across a broad range of industries, including finance, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare. Bartosz has extensive experience in both proof-of-concept and production solutions, leveraging cloud infrastructures to deliver robust, scalable solutions. He specializes in the domains of Machine Learning and Forecasting, with a keen eye for identifying and solving complex problems. As the leader of the AI team at Aigora, Bartosz brings his leadership skills to guide and mentor his team toward delivering cutting-edge solutions. Head of Artificial Intelligence, Aigora Dr. Vanessa Rios de Souza Dr. Vanessa Rios de Souza holds a BSc in Food Engineering and a Ph.D. degree in Food Science and has over 10 years of experience in R&D, consumer, and sensory research across multiple food product categories and functions, with a strong background in food science and food processing. Her experience spans across industrial, academic, and research settings. She currently works as a Senior Computational Sensory Science Consultant at Aigora, where she provides expert guidance and support to empower sensory and consumer science teams to implement artificial intelligence. Senior Sensory Science Consultant, Aigora Tessa Moxley Meng Mechanical Engineering Tessa Moxley is a senior sensory and consumer researcher at Reckitt. Working as part of an innovative science platform to explore new and specialist methodologies to measure multi-sensory consumer benefits. With a large part of her work focussing around fragrance, she seeks out novel methods to draw out differences and understand the complex impacts smell can have on our body. Tessa trained as a mechanical engineer, with a masters in mechanical engineering from the University of Bath, UK. Her consumer research career began at Dyson, and she enjoys applying her engineering knowledge to human perception. She is a keen advocate of blending creativity with technical science and engineering – in her spare time you can find her either doing house DIY or playing the piano & painting. Senior Sensory and Consumer Research, Reckitt Stephen Lillford BEng, MA Stephen Lillford is Sensory & Consumer Innovation Manager with Reckitt. Working in a central Sensory Enrichment Science Platform supporting a broad range of Reckitt Hygiene & Health brands. His expertise is in consumer aided product development specialising in fragrance perception and impact on emotions. Originally trained in Mechanical Engineering and Design Strategy at Brunel University UK he also has experience in Kansei (emotion) Engineering from Japan. He is an enthusiast in all aspects of human centred design to understand and link product features with consumer emotions. He is a keen runner and doing his best to stay ahead of his 2 sons but his days are numbered! Sensory and Consumer Innovation Manager, Reckitt Michelle Niedziela, PhD Michelle is a behavioral neuroscience expert in neuropsychology, psychology and consumer science. Experienced from academia (Monell Chemical Senses Center) and industry (Johnson & Johnson, Mars Chocolate) in R&D of innovation technologies and methodologies for consumer research. Michelle obtained a PhD and masters in neuroscience and biopsychology from Purdue University and a BS in psychology from Florida State University. Beginning as Scientific Director, Michelle led research design and handled all things science related. Currently as VP of Research and Innovation at HCD Research, Michelle focuses on finding and integrating new applied consumer neuroscience tools with traditional methods used to measure consumer response. Outside of the office, Michelle loves travelling and dancing. Her favorites places include Vietnam, Taiwan, Croatia, and Iceland. She also taught Argentine Tango while in graduate school. VP of Research & Innovation, HCD Research Rachel Horn ​ Rachel is the Director of Analytics at HCD Research. Leveraging her experience and expertise in psychology, statistics and analytics, Rachel leads the team in turning data into insights. This includes integrating cutting-edge research methods including applied neuroscience, psychological and behavioral science with traditional qualitative and quantitative techniques. She has a passion for storytelling and a knack for communicating complex data sets with clarity and ease. ​ Ms. Horn graduated from The College of New Jersey where she studied psychology and participated in multiple labs and research projects that helped hone her love for statistics, scientific inquiry, and research in general. These included TCNJ’s Memory & Aging Lab and its Testing and Assessment in Psychology Lab as well as her own Honors Thesis project on the effect of calorie labeling on menus. She is a life-long learner and looks forward to continuing to develop her skills as a researcher while also helping to mentor newer analysts along the way! Director of Analytics, HCD Research Sophia Stafford Sophia is the Associate Manager of Global Research at HCD Research. As a former analyst, Sophia has a refined skillset blending her background in data with communicating the complexities of conducting behavioral and neuroscientific research through proposal development and educational sessions. Sophia is a people person, her interest lies with talking, studying, and analyzing different behaviors to understand why we do what we do. Ms. Stafford graduated from the University of Rochester where she double majored in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Psychology. While at UR, her research endeavors were clinical in nature as she participated in Dr. Harry Reis’ Romantic Relationship lab, Dr. Pigeon Wilfred’s Sleep & Neurophysiology lab, as well as completing an honors thesis project on the glymphatics systems role in chronic pain with Dr. Maiken Nedergaard’s Center for Translational Neuromedicine. Sophia looks forward to expanding her research experience in the realm of consumer neuroscience with each unique project she takes on! Associate Manager of Global Research, HCD Research Pedro Almeida, PhD ​ Founder and CEO, MindProber

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