The HumLab acts as catalyst for interdisciplinary research on language, music and cognition, and houses specialist equipment and facilities.

An audio visual technician assists a student.


If you would like to book the HumLab, please complete this Google Form. This is open to internal (University of Sheffield) and external users. Please contact if you have any queries about this facility.

Research strands

Our interdisciplinary research investigates the complexity and creative expression of the human mind. Sheffield is strongly committed to interdisciplinary work, and the HumLab promotes multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research centred on areas that are core to the Arts and Humanities.

Supporting Arts and Humanities research

The HumLab makes it possible for colleagues from English, Languages & Cultures, Music and Philosophy, who share theoretical and methodological interests and concerns, to join up their research and let their disciplines thrive on cross-fertilisation. We use the laboratory-based methods employed in the study of language and music, and apply them to other disciplines, such as literature, film studies and the visual arts. 

Supporting cognition research

Cognition research helps shape our understanding of music and language and vice versa. By pursuing joint research hypotheses from different angles, it enables us to go beyond incremental progress within a discipline. 

The type of empirical and quantifiable data that the equipment housed in the HumLab makes available facilitates interdisciplinary communication and opens up avenues for collaboration with colleagues from across the university - most notably Cognitive Science, Neuroscience and Computer Science.


Our lab is equipped with state-of-the-art technology allowing our researchers and students to push the boundaries of their disciplines.

Lab areas

The HumLab has three lab areas:

  • Main lab with soft area and consenting space
  • Sound booth and computer island
  • Eye tracker room 


The HumLab contains the following equipment:

  • Audio recording equipment
  • Response pads (x5)
  • Galvanic skin response system
  • Eye-tracker
  • Electroglottograph
  • Aerodynamic system
  • Laptops (Lenovo Yoga) (x5), (MacBook Pro) (x1)
  • Tablets (Lenovo 10) (x3), (iPad Air 2) (x1)

There are also 5 desktop computers available with the following software:

  • MS Office
  • Experimental software: EPrime, PsychoPy, OpenSesame
  • Audio and video analysis software: Audacity, Praat, Adobe creative suite
  • Statistical analysis software: R and RStudio, SPSS


HumLab staff have many different areas of expertise across several varying interests.


Neil Bermel

Robyn Orfitelli

Gareth Walker


Nicola Dibben

Renee Timmers


Luca Barlassina

Gerado Viera


Gareth Walker

Ranjan Se

Centres of excellence

The University's cross-faculty research centres harness our interdisciplinary expertise to solve the world's most pressing challenges.