Campus Reform | A Clarkson University professor is using Neurotrack tech in attempt to find racial links with COVID hardship

A Clarkson University professor is using Neurotrack tech in attempt to find racial links with COVID hardship

A Clarkson University researcher is using cognitive exams to find links between COVID-19 hardship and racial identity.

Academics have likewise used Harvard University’s “Implicit Association Test” to claim that systemic racism impacts COVID-19 health outcomes.


A Clarkson University professor is harnessing cognitive exams to find links between COVID-19 suffering and racial identity.

According to a Clarkson University press release, physical therapy professor Ali Boolani is leading a study in partnership with Neurotrack — a company that “creates software to measure cognitive function using eye tracking technology” — to “explore a range of factors that can contribute to mental health and cognition in underrepresented populations.”

Boolani found that “if you controlled for age, sex, and lifestyle behaviors, people of color and women of all races reported worse moods than Caucasian men.”

This finding led him to investigate “the fact that there are other things that might be going on that could be negatively influencing moods in minorities and women.”

[RELATED: UA researchers use virtual reality to advance 'systemic racism' narrative]

As the press release states, Boolani “intends to examine what role microaggressions play in grades and mental health outcomes, on top of the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had.” His team will use cognitive performance scores from Neurotrack’s “digital cognitive assessment platform,” which measures performance in the areas of “memory, learning, inhibition, processing speed, attention, and executive function.”

Neurotrack Senior Vice President of Clinical Development Jordan Glenn hopes to “learn more about cognitive function across diverse populations.”

Campus Reform has reported on the rise of academics using cognitive exams to uncover purported systemic racism in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, Texas A&M University researchers recently published a study claiming that “explicit” and “implicit” racial attitudes caused higher COVID-19 death rates among African-Americans, partially relying upon data from Harvard University’s “Implicit Association Test.”|

[RELATED: Profs use 'flawed' Harvard study to push 'implicit,' 'explicit' racism theory]

Althea Nagai, a statistician and Heritage Foundation fellow, wrote that the test is “flawed” for a variety of reasons — including the fact that it “could tap into a fear of being called a racist instead of being an unconscious racist” for some test takers.

Campus Reform reached out to Boolani for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.