Dr Robert Gray PhD


Reader in Perception & Action

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences


Contact details

Telephone +44 (0)121 414 7239

Fax +44 (0)121 414 4121

Email r.gray.2@bham.ac.uk

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Dr Rob Gray’s work illuminates the dynamics of perception, cognition, and action in skilled performance. His work has the admirable quality of advancing perception-action theory while directly relating to applied problems. He brings real-world activities into the laboratory, where he rigorously investigates fundamental issues related to performance (American Psychological Association 2007).


BA (Queens), MS (York), PhD (York)


Dr. Rob Gray was born in Canada and did his graduate work at York University in Toronto. He subsequently worked at Nissan Motor Corporation in Cambridge USA and Arizona State University before taking up the post of Senior Lecturer in Birmingham. He has also worked as a Research Psychologist for the United States Air Force. In 2007 he was awarded the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology from the American Psychological Association.


Dr Gray currently teaches Y1 Biomechanics and a Y3 module on Skill Acquistion & Motor Learning. 

Postgraduate supervision

Jon Allsop, PhD (2011-)

Luke Wilkins, PhD (2011-)


  • Perceptual-motor control in sport, driving and aviation
  • Multisensory integration
  • Performance under pressure
  • Human-machine interface development

Other activities

Many moons ago Rob toured Europe with a Canadian hockey club. He is now an active cyclist and runner.


For pdf copies please see: 




Gray, R. (In press). Embodied perception in sport.  International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology

Gray, R., Spence, C., Ho. C., & Tan, H. Z. (2013).  Efficient multimodal cuing of spatial attention.  Proceedings of the IEEE, 101, 2113-2122.

Gray, R. (2012).  Links between performance outcomes, attention and kinematics in skilled motor action. Current Directions in Psychological Science,  20, 301-306.

Gray, R. (2008). Multisensory information in the control of complex motor actions. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17, 244-248.

Gray, R. (2005).  Vision in flying, driving and sports.  In Harris, L. & Jenkin, M. (Eds.).  Seeing Spatial Form. pp. 121-151. Oxford University Press. 



Gray, R., Allsop, J., & Williams, S. (2013).  Changes in putting kinematics associated with choking and excelling under pressure. International Journal of Sport Psychology (Performance under Pressure Special Issue), 44, 387-407. 

Gray, R. & Allsop, J. (2013).  Interactions between performance pressure, performance streaks and attentional focus.  Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 35, 368-386.

Gray, R. (2013).  Being selective at the plate: Processing dependence between perceptual variables relates to hitting goals and performance.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Human Perception and Performance, 39, 1124-1142.

Neuman, B. L., & Gray, R. (2013). A direct comparison of the effects of imagery and action observation on hitting performance.Movement & Sport Sciences,  79, 11-21. 

Beilock, S. L., & Gray, R. (2012).  From attentional control to attentional spillover:  A skill-level investigation of attention, movement, and performance outcome relations.  Human Movement Science,  31, 1473-1499.

Gray, R. & Beilock, S. L.  (2011).  Hitting is contagious: action observation and expertise.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied,  71, 49-59.

Gray, R. (2010). Expert baseball batters have greater sensitivity in making swing decisions. Research Quarterly for Exercise & Sport, 81, 373-378.

Scott, S. & Gray, R. (2010). Switching tools: Perceptual-motor recalibration to weight changes. Experimental Brain Research, 201, 177-189.

Gray, R. (2009). A model of motor inhibition for a complex skill: baseball batting. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 15, 91-105.

Gray, R. (2009). How do batters use visual, auditory, and tactile information about the success of a baseball swing? Research Quarterly for Exercise & Sport, 80, 491-501.

Gray, R. (2009). Intercepting moving objects: Fundamental principles learned from baseball.  Reviews of Human Factors and Ergonomics, Volume 5.  Pp 114-139.  Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors & Ergonomics Society.

Beilock, S. L., & Gray, R. (2007). Why do athletes "choke" under pressure? G. Tenenbaum and B. Eklund (Eds.), Handbook of Sport Psychology, 3rd Ed. pp. 425-444. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Castaneda, B. & Gray, R. (2007). Effects of focus of attention on baseball batting performance in players of different skill level.  Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 29, 59-76.

Gray, R., Beilock, S. L., & Carr, T. M. (2007). "As soon as the bat met the ball, I knew it was gone":  Outcome prediction, hindsight bias, and the representation and control of action in novice and expert baseball players. Psychological Bulletin & Review, 14, 669-675.

Gray, R. (2006).Expertise differences in attentional control between and within baseball batters. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 50th Annual Meeting, 1652-1655.

Gray, R. & Sieffert, R. (2005). Different strategies for using motion in depth information in catching.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Human Perception and Performance, 31, 1004-1022.

Castaneda, B. & Gray, R. (2005). Effects of attention on performance in baseball batting.  Studies in Perception and Action, VII.

Gray, R. (2004). Attending to the execution of a complex sensorimotor skill: Expertise differences, choking and slumps. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 10, 42-54.

Lebiere, C., Gray. R., Salvucci, D., & West, R. (2003).  Choice and learning under uncertainty: A case study in baseball batting.  Proceedings of 2003 Cognitive Science Conference. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Gray, R. (2002).  "Markov at the Bat": A model of cognitive processing in baseball batters.  Psychological Science, 13, 543-548.

Gray, R. (2002).  Behavior of college baseball players in a virtual batting task.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 28, 1131-1148.

Gray, R. (2001).  Perceptual and cognitive strategies used by baseball batters. Proceedings of the International Society of Sports Psychology 10th World Congress of Sport Psychology, 22-24.



Wilkins, L., Gray, R.,  Gaska, J., & Winterbottom, M. (In press).  Motion perception & driving: Predicting performance through testing shortening braking reaction times through training.  Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science.

Ho, C., Gray, R., & Spence, C. (In press).  Effectiveness of dynamic tactile cues in reorienting driver attention.  IEEE Transactions on Haptics.

Ho, C., Spence, C., & Gray, R. (2013). Looming auditory and vibrotactile collision warnings for safe driving. Proceedings of the 7th International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design, 551-557.

Ho, C., Gray, R., & Spence, C. (2013).  Role of audiovisual synchrony in driving head orienting responses.  Experimental Brain Research, 227, 467-476.

Gray, R. (2012).  Blue-light filtering IOLs make driving safer in glare conditions. Ophthalmology Times Europe.

Kuzel, M. & Gray, R. (2012). Motorists overtaking bicyclists: Analysis of driver behavior in a simulated driving environment.  1st International Conference on Human Factors in Transportation.  July 21-25, 2012, San Francisco, CA.

Gray, R., Hill, W., Neuman, B.  Houtman, D., & Potvin, R.  (2012). Effects of a blue light filtering intraocular lens on driving safety in glare conditions.  Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, 5, 816-822.

Gray, R. (2011).  Looming auditory collision warnings for driving. Human Factors,  53, 63-74. *Winner of the Jerome H. Ely Human Factors Article Award for the most outstanding paper in the 2011 volume of Human Factors

Gray, R. Perkins, S. A., Maxwell, A. W., Suryakumar, R., & Neuman, B.  (2011). Reduced effect of glare disability on driving performance in subjects implanted with blue light filtering intraocular lenses.  Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, 37, 38-44.

Branaghan, R. & Gray, R. (2010). Non-conscious activation of an elderly stereotype leads to safer driving behavior. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 110, 580-592.

Mohebbi, R., Gray, R., & Tan, H. Z. (2009). Driver reaction time to tactile and auditory rear-end collision warnings while talking on a cell phone. Human Factors, 51, 102-110.

Straughn, S., Gray, R., & Tan, H. Z. (2009).  To go or not to go: Stimulus-response compatibility and pedestrian collision warnings in driving.  IEEE Transactions on Haptics, 2, 111-117.

Gray, R. & Branaghan, R. (2009). Changing driver behavior through unconscious stereotype activation.  Driver Assessment 2009 Proceedings. Iowa City, IA.: University of Iowa Public Policy Center. 

Scott, J. J. & Gray, R. (2008). Comparison of visual, auditory and tactile warnings for rear-end collision prevention in driving. Human Factors, 50, 264-275.

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (2007). Glare susceptibility test results correlate with temporal safety margin when executing turns across approaching vehicles in simulated low-sun conditions. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 27, 440-450.

Gray, R. (2007). Predicting the effects of disability glare on driving performance. Driver Assessment 2007 Proceedings. University of Iowa Public Policy Center.

Scott, J. J. & Gray, R. (2007). Comparison of driver brake reactions times to multimodal rear-end collision warnings. Driver Assessment 2007 Proceedings. Iowa City, IA.: University of Iowa Public Policy Center.  *Co-winner of the Honda Outstanding Student Paper Award

Mohebbi, R. & Gray, R. (2007). Perceptual-motor control strategies for left-turn execution. Driver Assessment 2007 Proceedings. Iowa City, IA.: University of Iowa Public Policy Center.  *Co-winner of the Honda Outstanding Student Paper Award

Gray, R. (2005).  The use and misuse of visual information for "go/no-go" decisions in driving. Hennessy, D. & Wiesenthal, D.  (Eds.).Contemporary Issues in Traffic Research and Road User Safety. pp. 125-133. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (2005).  Perceptual processes used by drivers during overtaking in a driving simulator.  Human Factors, 47, 394-417.

Salvucci, D. & Gray, R. (2004).  A two-point visual control model of steering. Perception, 33, 1233-1248.

Wood, C., Gray, R., Young, J., Summers, J., Torkkola, K., Massey, N. (2003). Inattentional blindness while driving. Proceedings of the Second International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training and Vehicle Design.

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (2000). Risky driving behavior: a consequence of motion adaptation for visually guided action.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 26, 1721-1732.



Huet, M., Jacobs, D. M., Camachon, C., Missenard, O., Gray, R., & Montagne, G. (2011).  The education of attention as explanation of variability of practice effects:  Learning the final approach phase in a flight simulator.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Human Perception and Performance, 37, 1841-1854.

Gibb, R., Gray, R., & Scharff, L. (2010).  Aviation Visual Perception: Research, Misperception & Mishaps. Ashgate Publishing Ltd.http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9780754674979

Gray, R., Geri, G.A., Akhtar, S.C. & Covas, C.M. (2008).  The role of visual occlusion in altitude maintenance during simulated flight.  Journal of Experimental Psychology:  Human Perception and Performance, 34, 475-488.

Gibb, R., Schvaneveldt, R. S., & Gray, R. (2008). Visual misperception in aviation: Glide path performance in a black hole environment. Human Factors, 50, 699-711.

Gray, R. (2007). 2D vs. 3D visual cues for altitude maintenance in low-altitude flight.  Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 51st Annual Meeting.

Gibb, R. & Gray, R. (2006). The terrain orientation theory for visual guidance of approach and landing.  Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 50th Annual Meeting,1661-1665.


Multisensory processing and interface design

Mohd Rosli, R., Tan, H. Z., Proctor, R. W. & Gray, R.  (2011). Attentional Gradient for Crossmodal Proximal-Distal Tactile Cueing of Visual Spatial Attention.  ACM Transactions on Applied Perception,  8, 23:1–23:12.

Gray, R., Mohebbi, R., & Tan. H. Z. (2009). The spatial resolution of crossmodal attention: implications for multimodal interfaces.  ACM Transactions on Applied Perception (TAP), 4, 1-14.

Tan, H. Z., Gray, R., Spence, C., Jones, C. M., & Rosli, R. M. (2009).  Haptic cueing of visual spatial attention and evidence of spotlight effect.  (invited paper for special session on Haptics), Proceedings of SPIE-IS&T Electronic Imaging, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIV, B. E. Rogowitz & T. N. Pappas (Eds.), SPIE Vol. 7240-72400I, San Jose, CA, 12 pp., Jan. 18-22, 2009.

Jones, C., Gray, R., Spence, C., & Tan, H. Z. (2008). Directing visual attention with spatially informative and noninformative haptic cues.  Experimental Brain Research, 186, 659-669.

Jones, C. M., Young, J. J., Gray, R. Spence, C., &  Tan, H. Z. (2007).  An eyetracker study of the haptic cuing of visual attention. Proceedings of the World Haptics Conference.

Proctor, R. W., Tan, H. Z., Vu, K. L., Gray, R. & Spence, C. (2005). Implications of compatibility and cuing effects for multimodal interfaces. Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction.

Tan, H. Z., Gray, R., Young, J. J., & Traylor, R. (2003).  A haptic back display for attentional and directional cueing.  Haptics-e: The Electronic Journal of Haptics Research, Vol. 3, No. 1, June 11, 2003.

Gray, R., Tan, H. Z. &  Young, J. J. (2003). Do multimodal signals need to come from the same place?  Crossmodal attentional links between proximal and distal surfaces.  Proceedings of the 4th IEEE International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces, IEEE CS Press.

Young, J. J., Tan, H. Z. &  Gray, R. (2003).Validity of haptic cues and its effect on priming visual spatial attention. Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Haptic Interfaces for Virtual Environment and Teleoperator Systems, IEEE Computer Society, Los Angeles, CA, Mar. 22-23, pp. 166-170, 2003.

Gray, R. & Tan, H. Z. (2002).  Dynamic and predictive links between touch and vision.  Experimental Brain Research, 145, 50-55.

Tan, H. Z., Gray, R. &  Young, J. J. (2001).  Haptic cueing of a visual change detection task:  Implications for multi-modal interfaces.  In Usability Evaluation and Interface Design: Cognitive Engineering, Intelligent Agents and Virtual Reality (Vol. 1 of the Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction), M. J. Smith, G. Salvendy, D. Harris, and R. J. Koubek (Eds.), Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 678-682, 2001.


Processing of motion-in-depth and time to collision

Geri, G., Gray, R., & Grutzmacher, R. (2010). Simulating time-to-contact when both target an observer are in motion. Displays, 31, 59-66.

Regan, D. & Gray, R. (2009).  Some unresolved questions in stereopsis, dynamic stereopsis and stereomotion.  Spatial Vision, 22, 1-43.

Lee, D. N., Bootsma, R. J., Frost, B. J., Land, M., Regan, D., & Gray, R. (2009).  Lee's 1976 paper.  Perception, 38, 837 - 858.

Gray, R., Regan, D. Castaneda, B., & Sieffert, R. (2006).  Role of feedback in the accuracy of perceived direction of motion in depth and control of interceptive action.  Vision Research, 46, 1676-1694.

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (2006). Unconfounding the direction of motion, time to passage and rotation rate of an approaching object.  Vision Research, 46, 2388-2402.

Rushton, S. K. & Gray, R. (2006).  Hoyle's observations were right on the ball. Nature, 443, 506.

Gray, R., Macuga, K. M., & Regan, D. (2004).  Long range interactions between object motion and self-motion in the perception of movement in depth.  Vision Research, 44, 179-195.

Regan, D. & Gray, R. (2004).  A step by step approach to research on time to contact and time to passage.  In Hecht, H. & Savelsbergh, G. J. P. (Eds.). Theories of Time-to-Contact. Advances in Psychology, 135.  pp. 173-228.  Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (2004).  The use of binocular time to contact information.  In Hecht, H. & Savelsbergh, G. J. P. (Eds.). Theories of Time-to-Contact. Advances in Psychology, 135. pp. 303-325.  Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Regan, D. & Gray, R. (2001).  Hitting what one wants to hit and missing what one wants to miss.  Vision Research, 41, 3321-3329.

Gray, R. & Thornton, I. M. (2001).  Exploring the link between time to collision and representational momentum.  Perception, 30, 1007-1017.

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (2000).  Estimating time to collision with a rotating nonspherical object.  Vision Research, 40, 49-63.

Regan, D. & Gray, R. (2000). Visually-guided collision avoidance and collision achievement. Trends in Cognitive Neuroscience, 4, 99-107.

Gray, R. (2000).  Attentional modulation of motion-in-depth processing. Vision Research, 40, 1041-1050.

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (2000).  Simulated self-motion alters perceived time to collision. Current Biology, 10, 587-590.

Steeves, J. K. E., Gray, R., Regan, D. & Steinbach, M. J. (2000).  Accuracy of estimating time to collision using only monocular information in unilaterally enucleated observers and monocularly viewing normal controls. Vision Research, 40, 83-89.

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (1999).  Motion in depth: Adequate and inadequate simulation. Perception & Psychophysics, 61, 236-245.

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (1999). Adapting to expansion increases perceived time to collision.  Vision Research, 39,  3602-3607.

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (1999).  Do monocular estimates of time to collision necessarily involve perceived distance ? Perception, 28, 1257 - 1264.

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (1998). Accuracy of estimating time to collision using binocular and monocular information.  Vision Research, 38, 499-512.

Regan, D., Gray, R. Portfors, C. V., Hamstra, S. J., Vincent, A., Hong, X. H. & Kohly, R. (1998).  Catching, hitting and collision avoidance. In Harris, L. & Jenkin, M.(Eds.). Vision and Action. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (1996). Cyclopean motion produced by oscillations of size, disparity and location.  Vision Research, 36, 655-665.

Regan, D., Hamstra, S. J., Kaushal, S., Vincent, A., Gray, R., & Beverley, K. I. (1995).  Visual processing of an object's motion in three dimensions for a stationary or a moving observer. Perception, 24, 87-103.


Spatial vision

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (1998).  Spatial frequency discrimination and detection for texture-defined gratings. Vision Research, 38, 2601-2617. 

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (1997).  Vernier step acuity and bisection acuity for texture-defined form. Vision Research, 37, 1713-1723.

Regan, D., Gray, R., & Hamstra, S. J. (1996). Evidence for a neural mechanism that encodes angles.   Vision Research, 36, 323-330.

Gray, R. & Regan, D. (1996).  Accuracy of reproducing angles: Is a right angle special ? Perception, 25, 531-542.



Kuzel, M., Heller, M. F., Gray, R., Straughn, S., & DiJorio, S. (2008).  Perception and cognition during walking while concurrently using a cell phone. Contemporary Ergonomics 2008, Taylor & Francis Books Ltd.

Kuzel, M.J., Heller, M.F. , Sala, J.B., Ciccarelli, L. , & Gray, R.  (2008). A review of real-world collisions involving distracted pedestrians. Proceedings of the Annual Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference.

Gurascio-Howard, L. & Gray, R. (2004).  Using kinematics to assess software usability and ergonomic risk factors.  Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 48th Annual Meeting.

Grants Awarded:

2001-2003 - Personal Research Fellowship, Nissan Technical Center North America, Inc: "Perception & Cognition in Driving" - $137,000 US (Principal Investigator)

2003-2008 - National Science Foundation Early Career Development Award: "CAREER: An Integrated Approach to Research on Collision Control"-$400,000 US (Principal Investigator)

2005-2009 - National Science Foundation, Information & Intelligent Systems, Computer & Information Science & Engineering Program: "Sensory Integration of Multimodal Human Computer Interfaces"-$481,052 US (Co-Investigator with Hong Tan, Purdue University)

2007 - National Science Foundation, Major Research Instrumentation Program: "MRI: Acquisition of an Advanced Driving Simulator for Safety Research and Education". $170,000 US (Co-Investigator with Roger Schvaneveldt and Russ Branaghan, Arizona State University)

2009-2010 - Maricopa Association of Governments. "Evaluation of the MAG Elderly Mobility Sign Project". $50,000 US. (Co-Investigator with Simon Washington, Arizona State University

2011-2012  - United States Air Force (USAFSAM). “Development of Clinical  Tests of Motion Perception”. $106,000 US. Role: Principal Investigator

2012-2015 - Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) UK. “Beyond alerting: Informative tactile, auditory, and multisensory  warning signals for safer driving”. $492,759.  Role: Principal Investigator (w/ Charles Spence, Oxford, co-PI). 

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