Our research into cognitive neuroscience and cognitive robotics involves collaborations between the Schools of Psychology, Computer Science, Biosciences, Medicine, Sport and Exercise Sciences, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, and Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Our Schools are at the forefront of international work, as shown by their performance in the RAE exercise. In the School of Psychology, 25% of our research activity was judged as ‘world leading’ and 55% as ‘internationally excellent’, placing us third among all 76 UK Psychology departments. The School of Computer Science had 30% of research activity rated ‘world leading’ and 45% as ‘internationally excellent’.
We have made cognitive neuroscience and cognitive robotics a key priority in our strategic development plans. Access to state-of-the-art facilities is critical for this rapidly developing field and we have been successful in acquiring high resolution facilities both for measuring and intervening in brain activity, equipment awards for electro-encephalography (EEG), Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), eye movement and kinematic motion analysis. We also have advanced platforms for robotics including multi-fingered, lightweight robot hands; robot arms; and mobile robots to support a wide range of investigations.
The School of Computer Science houses one of the leading robotics groups in the UK with an outstanding reputation for work on control architectures and substantial external research funding. Our scientists are already in close collaboration with researchers in Psychology working on attention, perception and action with the aim being to simulate human control systems in robots, while also using robotic implementations to test psychological theories.
Funding for the Centre totals around £7 million and comes from a wide range of sources: all relevant UK Research Councils (BBSRC, EPSRC, ESRC, MRC), UK charities (the Stroke Association, the Wellcome Trust), international bodies (the EU, the Human Science Frontier Program).