Perception, Cognition and Action

Perception, Cognition and Action (PCA) are topics at the heart of research at the School of Psychology at Birmingham, as they have been at the heart of the cognitive revolution since the 1950s.

We have numerous research groups working in this theme, covering topics such as visual, auditory, haptic and multisensory perception and integration, visual and auditory attention and expectations, sensorimotor control of eyes, arm and hand, and gait, visuomotor coupling, theory of mind, perspective taking, problem solving, social cognition, consciousness, acquired and developmental deficits in these areas (for example, stroke, psychopathy, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Williams Syndrome, and Developmental Coordination Disorder) and their developmental origins over the lifespan from early infancy to old age.

Research activities in the theme utilize all the modern neuroscientific methodologies, such as psychophysics, brain imaging (fMRI/MRI, MEG/EEG) and brain stimulation (TMS, TDCS, TACS). Members of the theme combine psychophysics and neuroimaging with computational modelling, particularly Bayesian inference, and deep learning.

The theme links to activities in other themes within the School, and we have collaborations with Schools elsewhere in the College of Life and Environmental Sciences as well as across the campus. For instance, we have research collaborations focusing on non-human primates (with Biosciences), on urban environments (with Geography, Earth, and Environmental Sciences), in robotics and computer vision (with Computer Science), tool use (with Electrical Engineering), and human motor physiology (with Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences).