Dr Emma Gowen

Senior Lecturer

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Research interests

I am interested in how the brain uses sensory information such as vision and touch to program and control motor movements (e.g. picking up objects or balancing). Much of my work focuses on imitation - the ability to observe and copy other peoples actions. Imitation is a complex process that is important for social interaction and learning and my research examines how our ability to imitate is affected by aspects such as attention to the observed movement.  Much of my research involves looking at sensory and motor control in autistic adults who are frequently troubled by sensory issues such as feeling overwhelmed by different sensory information and also tend to have poorer motor skills.  For example, in one project we have compared where autistic and non-autistic people look when imitating another persons action in order to understand whether altered viewing patterns cause the differences in imitation ability between the two groups.

I use a range of research techniques including eye tracking, motion tracking, Psychophysics and Electroencephalography (EEG).

Please visit the BEAM lab or Autism@Manchester websites for more details about my research:






Research and projects