Members

Prof. Emily S. Cross—Professor of Social Robotics, Director of the Social Brain in Action (SoBA) Lab

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With the SoBA Lab, Cross leads a team who explores questions concerning how we learn via observation, motor expertise, and social influences on human—robot interaction using intensive training procedures, functional neuroimaging, brain stimulation, and research paradigms that bridge technology, arts, and social sciences. She and her team are particularly interested in how prolonged experience with robots changes how we perceive and interact with embodied artificial agents at brain and behavioural levels, and how these relationships manifest across the lifespan and in different cultures.

Cross’s work features in an eclectic range of leading publication outlets (e.g., Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Cognition, International Journal of Social Robotics, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society), and has attracted funding from a range of national and international funders, including the European Research Council (ERC), ESRC Future Research Leaders Award, ESPRC, the NIH and the UK’s Ministry of Defence. Furthermore, Cross has received several prizes recognizing her contributions to interdisciplinary study of the learning and the brain, including the Philip Leverhulme Prize for Psychology, the Jacob Bronowski Award from the British Science Foundation, and a Young Talent Award from the Dutch Neuroscience Society. Furthermore, her contributions to social robotics have been recognised by her being named on RoboHub’s and Insight Analytics annual lists of top women in robotics.

Cross is a member of the Young Academy of Europe and the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland and serves as a Scientific Council member for the Institute of Advanced Study in Toulouse, and as one of 36 members on UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee, a role for which she recently served as co-rapporteur on a major UNESCO report on ethical considerations related to neurotechnology. She is an Associate Editor at the International Journal of Social Robotics and a member of the Editorial Board at Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: B. She has also served on organising committees for major computer science and interdisciplinary meetings, including Intelligent Virtual Agents, Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction, and Virtual Social Interactions.

Prof. Rachael E. Jack—Professor of Computational Social Cognition, Director of the FACESYNTAX laboratory

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Jack’s laboratory builds models of dynamic facial expressions within and across cultures using a novel interdisciplinary approach combining psychophysics, social psychology, dynamic 3D computer graphics, and information theory. Their work has led to a new theoretical framework of facial expression communication that is now transferred to digital agents to synthesize culturally sensitive social avatars and robots.

Jack’s work features in high-profile scientific outlets (e.g., Annual Review of Psychology, Current Biology, Psychological Science, PNAS, TICS) and has attracted funding from the European Research Council (ERC), ESRC Future Research Leaders award, ESRC Open Research Area, and British Academy, and several awards including American Psychological Association (APA) New Investigator award, the Social and Affective Neuroscience Society (SANS) Innovation award, the British Psychological Society (BPS) Spearman Medal, Association for Psychological Science (APS) Rising Star award, and International Society for Research on Emotion (ISRE) Young Researcher Spotlight.

Jack is Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), Secretary of the Association for Psychological Science (APS), Chair of the APS Globalization Committee, Associate Editor at Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and Affective Science, and on the Editorial Boards of Emotion, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, and Behavior Research Methods. She is on the committees/boards for the conferences of the Society for Affective Sciences, IEEE Automatic Face & Gesture Recognition, ACM Intelligent Virtual Agents, and the Vision Science Society, and the ERC Advanced Grant panel.

Prof. Stacy Marsella—Wolfson Chair of Excellence

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Professor Marsella’s multidisciplinary research uses Artificial Intelligence techniques to model human cognition, emotion and social behavior. Beyond its relevance to understanding human behavior, the work has seen numerous applications, including health interventions, social skills training and planning operations.  His more applied work includes frameworks for large-scale social simulations and the creation of virtual humans, embodied facsimiles of people that can engage people in face-to-face interactions using verbal and nonverbal behavior.

Professor Marsella’s leadership positions in computer science include serving on the board of the International Foundation for Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (IFAAMAS), and the steering committee for the ACM International Conference for Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA).  He was a member of the DARPA Information Science and Technology (ISAT) advisory group. He has also chaired a range of conferences spanning AI and psychology including AAMAS (International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems), ISRE (International Society for Research on Emotion) conference, and IVA. His work has received numerous awards including the ACM SIGAI agents research career award for his contributions to agent research and IFAAMAS Influential paper award. He is a fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychologists, a member of AAAI (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) and a member of the International Society for Research on Emotions.

Dr. Limor Raviv—Lecturer in Social Interactions

Raviv is a Lecturer in Social Interaction at cSCAN and a Minerva research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, leading the group “Language Evolution and Adaptation in Diverse Situations” (LEADS). Raviv’s work focuses on linking core aspects of cultural evolution and language learning using a range of novel behavioral paradigms and computational models. With these methods, she tried to shed light on the communicative pressures and cognitive constraints that shape social interaction and language use in our species as well as other animals, and to identify the social, environmental, and cross-cultural factors that lead to language diversity and cross-linguistic variation.

Raviv’s work featured in high-profile journals (e.g., Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Cognition, Developmental Science), and has been covered by international press outlets such as The Times and The Economist. She has attracted funding from the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft as Fast-Track fellow and received several prizes including the Otto Hahn Medal for outstanding scientific achievements by young scientists, Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, the PhD thesis award for outstanding contribution to scientific knowledge by the Dutch Society for Brain and Cognition (NVP).

Prof. Frank Pollick

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Professor Frank Pollick is currently doing research across a variety of topics in cognition, visual perception and human interactions with technology, particularly as they impact mental health in the workplace. Current funded projects investigate the role of trust in optimising the performance of human-AI teams as well as neurostimulation as a means to mitigate visually induced motion sickness in VR. Previous work has focused on issues in social cognition and particularly the perception of human movement and how this ability varies across different groups due to development and expertise. This work has included research into autism, dance and the multi-sensory perception of drumming. The research methods employed by the lab include behavioural and brain imaging studies using fMRI, with recent research exploring the capabilities of realtime fMRI neurofeedback.

Affiliate members