Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Kent academic to give computers human touch


Howard Bowman and Colin Johnson of the Computing Laboratory at the University of Kent at Canterbury (UKC) have been awarded a grant of £150,000 from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to construct computational models of human attention. The research will be undertaken in collaboration with the Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, one of the UK’s leading centres for research into human attention.

We live in environments in which many events occur simultaneously and compete for our attention. For example, when standing on a street corner we are subject to a plethora of stimuli: cars passing, conversations amongst pedestrians and street vendors plying their trade. When placed in such environments, humans are very good at prioritising these competing stimuli, directing attention towards the highest priority events and ignoring the rest.

When we perceive a significant event such as a car careering off the road, the current task is interrupted and attention is redirected to responding to the new event by, for example, jumping out of the way of the oncoming danger. In contrast, computer systems do less well: robots struggle to perform effectively in environments in which demands on their processing change unpredictably.

In response to this, the study will be working to construct neural network and logic-based models of how humans direct attention. These models will not only increase our understanding of human attention, they will also allow us to construct computer interfaces that are more sensitive to the human user and to develop robots that perform more effectively in dynamically changing environments.

Howard Bowman is Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at UKC. His two main areas of research interest are computational modelling of human cognition and formal methods. Colin Johnson lectures in Computer Science and his research interests centre on projects that combine computing with biological and mathematical ideas.

Media Office | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht TIB’s Visual Analytics Research Group to develop methods for person detection and visualisation
19.03.2018 | Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB)

nachricht Green Light for Galaxy Europe
15.03.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

A new kind of quantum bits in two dimensions

19.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires

19.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>