The objective of the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems is to harness the potential for cross-disciplinary research at the junction of Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience and the Computational Sciences. It is well recognised that in order to make breakthroughs in understanding human cognition a broad spectrum of techniques spanning a number of disciplines need to be explored. In particular, behavioural and neuro-physiological experimentation needs to inform and to be informed by the construction of computational models. Furthermore, the results of such studies should inform the construction of artificial systems, such as forensic imaging, human-computer and brain-computer interfaces. The Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems has forged a strategic alignment of University of Kent personnel in order to enable a cross-disciplinary initiative in this area.
The Centre combines activities in the following areas.
- Application of behavioural experimentation towards understanding human cognition. No restriction is imposed on the set of cognitive functions that can be investigated, with perception, memory, language, attention, emotions and reasoning forming our core competence.
- Application of neuro-imaging techniques, such as electrophysiological methods (EEG and ERP), to relate brain activity to cognitive function.
- Construction of computational models of the human cognitive and neural system; symbolic, neural network and mathematical models are employed.
- Development of imaging neuroscience methods, which further the structural and functional analysis of EEG and MRI data. Techniques being developed include fibre tract methods, dynamic causal models, pattern classification and signal processing in general.
- The evaluation and construction of artificial systems, which are informed by understanding of the human cognitive system. The spectrum of artificial systems that can be considered is again broad, with particular emphasis on forensic imaging, brain-computer interface and the human-computer interface.
Current research programmes
We have research programmes ongoing in the following areas.
- Attention and Affect. Empirical and computational studies of emotions, attention and addictive behaviour. (Key Investigators: Bowman, Sharma and Wyble)
- Brain-computer Interface. Direct control of computers and devices from brain activity with applications in assistive technologies, lie detection and information retirieval (Key Investigators: Ang, Bowman and Deravi).
- Forensic Imaging. System development and commercialising research focused on developing a genetic algorithm-based face-composite system. (Key Investigator: Solomon)
- HCI and Affective Computing. Research activities focused on human computer interaction, virtual environments and affective computing. (Key Investigators: Ang, Bowman, Deravi, Johnson and Wyble)
- Language. Behavioural and EEG exploration of meaning and pragmatics in language. (Key Investigator: Ferguson)
- Neuroimaging Methods and Analysis. Fibre tractography, segmentation, blood flow modelling and image processing in general (Key Investigators: Deravi, Hojjat and Zhang)
- Neurorehabilitation and Diagnosis. Broad scope collaboration between neurorehabilitation at the Kent and Canterbury hospital and the CCNCS, in directions such as brain-computer interface, fibre-tracking, EEG-based diagnosis, image analysis, etc. (Key Investigators: Ang, Bowman, Deravi, Ferguson, Hojjat, Sakel and Wilkinson)
- Philosophical Perspectives. Interests focus on logico-semantical paradoxes, mechanisms of subconscious decision-making and philosophies of causality and probability (Key Investigators: Goldstein and Williamson; associated organisation: Centre for Reasoning).
- Salience Sensitive Control. Exploration of salience sensitive control in humans and artificial systems. (Key Investigators: Bowman, Sharma and Wyble).
- Stroke Rehabilitation. Galvanic vestibular stimulation and cognitive rehabilitation after stroke. (Key Investigators: Sakel and Wilkinson)
- Temporal Attention: Exploration of binding, conscious perception and episodic structuring in the human capacity to attend through time (Key Investigator: Bowman).
- Visual Cognition. Visual attention, object and face recognition, visual perception, visual impairment in brain injury and visual imagery. (Key Investigator: Wilkinson)