Peter McOwan's research aims to understand how biological systems can help us build better technology.
One of the accepted Grand Challenges of science is to understand the workings of the human brain. This is a problem that has many aspects and many levels, but one of the most promising is to study the brain as a computational system, and in particular to study the lower level processing components, such as early vision and sensory-motor integration which are both experimentally accessible and lend themselves to algorithmic description. The development of such biologically validated algorithms also allows their transfer to build functional computer artefacts mimicking natural behaviours.
Research in Peter's lab is focused on three main areas.
Understanding early visual processing: how does our brain start to process the visual signal, and can we build accurate and experimentally validated mathematical models for this process?
Sensory motor integration: can we develop and test mathematical models that explain how perceptions lead to actions?
Closing the perception action loop: how can we create computers able to recognise human facial expressions or gestures and so interact more naturally with the users?
IET Mountbatten Medal Winner