Professor of Human Neuroscience and Social Robotics at Macquarie University and University of Glasgow
Living in New South Wales, Australia
Emily is a cognitive neuroscientist based jointly at the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and the Department of Cognitive Science at Macquarie University in Australia, where she directs the Social Brain in Action Laboratory.
She is interested in exploring how the human brain supports learning with and about other complex agents we
find in our social world, with a particular focus on humans and robots. Using intensive training procedures, brain imaging, and research paradigms involving dance, acrobatics and robots, she leads a team who examines how we learn via observation, how we acquire expertise, and social influences on human—robot interaction. Most recently, she and her team have been exploring how prolonged experience with robots changes how we perceive and interact with these artificial agents at brain and behavioural levels, and how these relationships are manifest across the lifespan and in different cultures.
She is becoming increasingly interested in how embodied artificial agents (like robots) can help people become more compassionate, responsible, and socially engaged citizens. Emily received a BA in psychology and dance from Pomona College (USA), an MSc in cognitive psychology from the University of Otago (NZ) as a Fulbright Fellow, and a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from Dartmouth College (USA). She completed postdoctoral training at the University of Nottingham (UK) and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (Germany), and was previously an assistant professor at Radboud University Nijmegen (NL) and a professor at Bangor University (Wales).
She has also danced professionally on 3 continents, enjoys triathlon training and hiking in her spare time, and proudly placed third in the 2009 Antarctica Marathon.