About my research
I focus on understanding face perception and recognition in various applied (computer animation, criminal and security settings), theoretical (cognitive and functional models and nature of stored face representations) and clinical settings (working with people with autism, schizophrenia and prosopagnosia).
My main scientific contributions have centred on the role of motion in face learning and recognition, as well considering socio-emotional factors relating to individual differences in face recognition ability.
I earned my PhD in Experimental Cognitive Psychology in 1999 from the University of Stirling.
Public engagement highlights
I have been actively involved in public engagement of science since my PhD work. I have run numerous funded public engagement events including:
- Facing out: Exploring facial disfigurement (2018);
- Changing the face of criminal identification (2017);
- It’s written all over your face: The Science of Face Perception (2016),
- Hard Feelings: The Science of Emotion (2015)
- The Science of Visual Illusion (2014).
I received funding from the University of Manchester Social Curriculum Fund to improve public engagement of science in psychology students at Manchester (2017-2018) and have presented my public engagement work at the Engage and Science in Public conferences.
Since 2017, I have been a Psychology committee member for the British Science Association (BSA).
Best public engagement advice
That public engagement is a two-way process – disseminating scientific information and results to the general public, but also learning from the general public about their priorities for research and questions that they want answered.
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