Perception and Action

In this research area we study the psychological and cognitive bases of perception and action.


The task of turning a pattern of light on the retina into useable information in the brain is both critical for survival and highly complex. We use a broad range of techniques, from behavioural (psychophysical) experiments through to brain imaging and stimulation, to understand the neural computations that allow us to see. The box below contains details of more specific research areas.


Res‌earch interests include:


The audition group covers a wide variety of topics related to the interaction between the hearing system and our perceptual and cognitive experience of the world. Our research focuses on sound localization in normal- and hearing-impaired listeners, speech perception in noise and multi-talker situations, the benefits and cost-effectiveness of cochlear implants, the acoustic correlates of evoked emotion in music.

  Wise man listening to music  

Res‌earch interests include:


To survive in often complex and dangerous environments people have to extract from the visual array information that can guide their own actions and enable them to understand the actions of others.  Therefore systems have evolved that are capable of converting perceptual information automatically in to action or embodied representations. Our research interests are concerned with how the simulation of another person’s actions enables us to understand and predict their behaviour, how such automatic activation of action states can result in misattribution processes, and how action states described in language are represented in sensorimotor areas of the brain.  For a list of some of our more specific research projects, please see the box below.

  3d zoetrope figures ...  ‌Mechanisms of Action Perception


Res‌earch interests include:
  • The influence of perceptual experiences on action perception and the prediction of future actions (BarracloughTipper)
  • The use of virtual reality to investigate neural processing mechanisms during simulated real-life experiences (Barraclough)
  • The role of emotion in misattribution of action processes (Tipper)
  • Action semantics: how language about actions is represented in the brain (GennariRueschemeyer)