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Roddy Cowie

Location: Queen's University, Belfast

I was born in 1950. I studied philosophy and psychology at Stirling and UCLA as an undergraduate, and received my PhD from Sussex for research on relationships between human and machine vision. I worked in the psychology department at Queen’s, Belfast from 1975 to 2014, initially on visual phenomena where people's subjective experience conflicts with 'rational' expectations and obvious programming solutions (including impossible objects, misperception of motion, reading errors, and recovery of structure from simple pictures). Research on one of these phenomena, 'speechreading', led to an academic and practical interest in deafness; particularly the subjective experience of deafness, the way deafness affects speech, and computational methods of analyzing the speech problems. The work on speech, with Dr E Douglas-Cowie (QUB), generalised to other speech varieties that convey information about the speaker - varieties associated with social class, mental disorder, 'phone voice', and expressive reading. That in turn led into work on the perception of emotion, where both verbal and visual cues function to convey intensely subjective experiences. In that context, I took part in a series of EC projects (PHYSTA, ORESTEIA, ERMIS, HUMAINE, SEMAINE, SSPnet, SIEMPRE and Ilhaire). I co-ordinated the HUMAINE network of excellence, and helped to establish its successor, the HUMAINE Association. I took partial retirement in 2013 and complete the process in 2014. I have still been involved in various projects, in areas like emotion and computing, the study of compromise in politics, and psychological aspects of chronic illness and hearing loss. I have a long term project, trying to develop a systematic approach to self-knowledge. My main outside interests are my family, music, and religion. For more on those, and details of publications, see

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Bibliography Folder
[···] 27 February 2008
RoddyCowie's Home Page 09 August 2016
Humaine Handbook 04 December 2007
FrontPage 08 July 2005
D8c potential exemplars: communication & persuasion 29 March 2004
D5d potential exemplars: databases 29 March 2004
D4c potential exemplars signals to signs 29 March 2004
D7c potential exemplars: cognition & action 29 March 2004
D9c potential exemplars: usability 29 March 2004
RoddyCowie's Home 09 August 2016
Personal Messages 09 May 2006
Favorites 08 July 2005
Personal Items 08 January 2004
Humaine News Item
Ordinal approaches to annotation 10 January 2018
Gtrace working 08 July 2011
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Lectureship in Psychology at Queen's Belfast 01 May 2012
Postdoc@QUB 10 February 2009
Toolbox Labelling Tool
GTrace 08 July 2011
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