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More about IMC

The Cognitive Science group (formally Interaction, Media and Communication IMC) is a multi-disciplinary group, unique in the UK in its breadth and range, which applies computer science, philosophy, and psychology to explore the potential of digital technologies to enable novel forms of human action and interaction.

The group's research focuses on human-human communication and interaction, engagement and creativity, advanced multi-modal interaction (including aural, verbal, gestural, aural, graphical and musical interaction), accessibility and human error. Research in IMC is organised around three strands: novel methods of communication, (eg graphical dialogue, collaborative improvisation, cross-language interaction); systems, tools and methodologies (eg data sonification, tools for dialogue analysis); formal and empirical models (eg formal pragmatics, human error, information seeking behaviour).

Research activities are based on a number of national, European and international collaborations with substantial funding from the EPSRC and EU as well as significant links with industrial and clinical end-users. Current projects include MAGIC for exploring the contribution of graphics to multimodal communication; MobileMAGIC, an extension of the MAGIC project working on mobile multimodality and graphics in interactive communication supported by Hewlett-Packard's Voice Web Initiative; ROSSINI focusing on long-term representation of structural information in dialogue interaction; Walford, a non-commercial game for communication research; and SodaRace, an online robotics and AI forum.

The group's research programme is supported by a series of weekly IMC research seminars and reading groups. The group conducts research, making use of the facilities of the new Augmented Human Interaction Laboratory and a specialised usability lab, complete with a digital video-editing suite.

The IMC group is a founding member of the EPSRC Leonardo network in the area of Culture, Creativity and Interaction Design, seeking to develop a research programme at the intersection of human-computer interaction, the arts and humanities.

Members of the research group contribute to specialised research-led modules to several of the advanced Masters programmes run by the Department and there are currently plans for a new MSc in Digital Performance.

One key example of the group's work is Nick Bryan-Kinns' research on understanding the intense interaction between jazz musicians as they improvise.