The Active Touch Laboratory uses methods in animal behaviour, neuroethology, human psychophysics, computational modelling and robotics to investigate tactile sensing in animals, people and intelligent machines
|Meet the lab||
I investigate active touch sensing in animals, humans and robots, focusing on (i) the evolution of the mammalian somatosensory system, (ii) multisensory perception and memory, (iii) haptic interaction and emotional touch in biomimetic robots, and (iv) haptic interfaces for sensory augmentation and telepresence.
My research on active touch sensing focuses on its role in generating functional spatial percepts that drive local motion planning through spatial attention and global motion planning through mapping and navigation systems. I investigate these themes through computational modelling and through the construction of biomimetic robots
My research explores the interaction between evolution and development in the context of mammalian somatosensory systems. In particular, I am interested in how self-organisation can interact with natural selection in the context of i) self-organisation of topological maps in rodent barrel cortex, ii) self-organising thermoregulatory huddling behaviours in rodent litters
Hannes Saal (co-director)
I use human psychophysics, computational modeling, and applied machine learning in order to elucidate the fundamental computations allowing us to make sense of our environment through touch
Kendra Arkley (co-director)
I investigate how small mammals make sense of their environment using their highly sensitive vibrissae (whiskers). Specifically, I aim to understand vibrissal active sensing by capturing whisker movements using high-speed videography during naturalistic behaviours like locomotion and climbing
I explore the neurological pathways involved in touch processes, and am interested in how these could be exploited to further positive therapeutic outcomes. I work with biomimetic and brain-based robotics investigating the therapeutic potential of emotional touch in human-robot interactions, based on models of human-animal interactions
Details of our first journal club to be announced!
|News and resources||