Cross et al, 2016, How Moving Together Brings Us Together

Our recently graduated PhD student Liam Cross has just published his first paper from his PhD in a Research Topic, Dynamics of Joint-Action, Social Coordination and Multi-Agent Activity. Thanks to Mike Richardson for the invite to submit and our reviewers for their fair and useful feedback!

And congratulations Liam! One down, three to go 🙂

Cross, L., Wilson, A.D., & Golonka, S. (2016). How Moving Together Brings Us Together: When Coordinated Rhythmic Movement Affects Cooperation. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1983. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01983. Download (Open Access)

Andrew at EWEP14, July 6-9

Andrew is attending the 14th European Workshop on Ecological Psychology presenting his affordance research on prehistoric objects (see the full program). Hope to see some of you there!

Task dynamics and the affordances of prehistoric spheroids for throwing
Andrew Wilson, Qin Zhu, Ian Stanistreet, Larry Barham, & Geoffrey Bingham

Slides: The Affordances of Prehistoric Objects

Spheroids are ball-shaped stone objects found at African archaeological sites dating from 1.8 million years ago (Early Stone Age) to at least 200,000 years ago (Middle Stone Age), making them one of the longest-used technologies on record. Most hypotheses about their use presume they were held in one hand and used to shape or grind other materials. However, their size and spherical shape make them potentially useful as projectile weapons, a property that, uniquely, humans have been specialised to exploit for millions of years. Here we show (via simulations of projectile motions parameterised by recent affordance research on throwing) that 88% of the spheroids found at the Cave of Hearths site afford being thrown by a human so as to inflict worthwhile damage to an animal roughly the size of an impala over distances up to 25m. Most of the objects have weights that produce optimal levels of damage from throwing, rather than being as heavy as possible (as would suit other functions). Our results support the hypothesis that these objects were selected because they afford being thrown to inflict damage, and demonstrates how research on the task dynamics of affordances can inform and constrain our theories about prehistoric artifacts.

Andrew running workshop on ecological information 1/7/16

Andrew is travelling down to run a workshop demystifying ecological information at the Third International Conference on Interactivity, Language and Cognition. The workshop begins 9am on Friday 01/07/16 Room TK402. (I’ll only be down for the Friday session, but I’m looking forward to meeting you all!)

Slides: Ecological Information Workshop (Kingston June 2016) (note, I’m not going to deliver this as a lecture, it’s a little more hands on with some Matlab demos and discussion; these slides are just things to use to make it all a little more concrete)


Andrew’s new paper on affordances for throwing in press at JEPHPP

Andrew has a new paper just in press at JEP:HPP using simulations of projectile motion to quantify the affordances of a target to be hit by a long distance throw. This paper has been 5 years in the making, since the first data collection in 2010, and involved filming expert throwers in Leeds and Wyoming over two experiments with high speed cameras, measuring the release kinematics and then explaining how these varied with target location using the affordance simulations. This was a mammoth undertaking and Andrew is thrilled to finally see it in press!

Wilson, A. D., Weightman, A., Bingham, G. P., & Zhu, Q. (in press). Using task dynamics to quantify the affordances of throwing for long distance and accuracy. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.  Download (pre-publication version), Supplemental Material

Virtual Reality Research Cluster bid funded!

Leeds Beckett has just confirmed it has selected Andrew’s project, ‘Using Virtual Reality to Study Human Behaviour’ as one of several new Research Cluster awards. These Clusters fund a year of activity designed to create new interdisciplinary research activity in the University.

Andrew’s proposal connects our lab with Dr Bal Singh and Dr Patrick Ingham in the School of Computing, Creative Technologies and Engineering as well as the Pain Lab run by Professor Mark Johnson. The award will fund equipment (2 new motion tracking cameras, Oculus Rift headsets, powerful laptops for handling the VR environments and all the necessary software) and an RA to develop a proof-of-concept virtual environment to investigate pain perception.

The Cluster will also host a networking event in the summer of 2016, where we will showcase what we can do with the technology to all interested parties. If you are a behavioural sciences researcher who would like to use VR to further your work but don’t have access to the necessary expertise, we would like to work with you to develop a collaboration and funding applications to support that work. Please contact Andrew if you are interested and stay tuned to this blog and our Twitter feeds for more information.