Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Games and Creative Technologies, University of Bolton

With interests in video games art and design, animation, character design, androids, human computer interaction, cyberpsychology and research methods and practice, much of my research to date has centred on the Uncanny Valley phenomenon in human-like synthetic agents.

This includes how aspects of dynamic facial animation and speech may be manipulated to reduce the uncanny in empathetic, realistic human-like characters or exaggerate the uncanny to enhance the fear factor in characters intended for the horror genre. This research expands to issues of psychopathy, facial mimicry, mirror neuron activity (MNA), emotional contagion and attachment theory in humans, leading to a new standpoint as to the cause of the uncanny based on a perceived lack of empathy in a character. The research outcomes are not only applicable to characters featured in animation and video games, but also those featured in virtual simulations beyond the domain of entertainment, such as healthcare and education.

I also act as a reviewer for a number of journals and have been a committee member for IADIS conferences since 2010.

Experience

  • –present
    Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Games and Creative Technologies, University of Bolton