PhD Students

PhD Students

Howard Bowman

I am currently supervising a number of PhD students.

  • Marco Filetti has been developing EEG Subliminal Salience Search; that is, exploring how humans can search amongst a stream of stimuli that is presented so rapidly and with sufficient marking that the vast majority of the stimuli are not consciously perceived. Despite this, the brain can ‘pick out’ stimuli presented to it in this format that are salient. When combined with EEG, this characteristic suggests a number of applications of subliminal salience search, including lie detection and brain computer interaction. Marco is exploring such applications.
  • Jumana Ahmad is using EEG to explore how working memory capacity might be impaired in dyslexia. Her work focuses on the N-back task, which enables the difficulty of working memory maintenance to be parametrically manipulated. Jumana is jointly supervised with Heather Ferguson in Psychology at Kent.
  • Abdulmajeed Alsufyani is working on subliminal salience search, a mode of stimulus presentation in which the brain ‘picks out’ the stimuli that are salient to it, from amongst a stream of stimuli presented on the fringe of awareness. Abdulmajeed is working on lie detector and brain computer interface applications of EEG-marked Subliminal Salience Search, with a particular focus on classification of the resulting EEG time series.
  • Susan Haynes is working on the Attention Blink phenomenon, which demonstrates a significantly reduced capacity to consciously perceive stimuli when they closely follow a prior stimulus in time. She is interested in the sensitivity of conscious perception in situations such as the Attentional Blink. She is developing a neural model based on the Simultaneous Type/ Serial Token model and empirically verifying her model.
  • Jenny Cooke is interested in states of consciousness, as arise from brain damaged patients, e.g. vegetative and coma states; and under anaesthetic sedation. She is looking at how evoked electrical brain responses change across this variety of states of awareness.
  • Amirali Shirazibeheshti is exploring the EEG analysis tools that are available to analyse brain processing both on the scalp and inside the brain. He is particularly looking at connectivity analysis techniques, such as Dynamic Causal Modelling. He is seeking to apply these methods to understand different states of consciousness.


Of my PhD students, the following have completed:

  • Maarten Steen worked on composition and consistency checking of partial specifications written in the process algebra LOTOS. More details of Maarten's thesis can be found on his web page. The title of his thesis was, "Consistency and Composition of Process Specifications" which he successfully defended in 1998. His examiners were Professors Guy Leduc and David Turner. He was funded by an internal UKC bursary: an EBSpratt award, with some extra financial support from British Telecom Research Laboratories.
  • Charles Briscoe-Smith worked on type management in distributed systems, with a particular emphasis on behavioural subtyping in a process algebra setting. He was funded by British Telecom and EPSRC case award.
  • Vikki Roberts (MRes Student) worked on neural network based computational modelling of human word reading. She particularly focused on localist (activation gradient) models of word reading, such as Davis' Solar model. She sought to show how such techniques can be used to model the Word Superiority Effect, which is one of the most significant phenomena in word reading.
  • Rodolfo Gomez worked on decision procedures for interval temporal logic and verification of real-time systems using timed automata. He began by considering how interval temporal logic could be related to WS1S (Weak Second Order Logic of One Successor). Then he looked at a number of different real-time extensions of communicating automata (including timed automata), explored the verification capabilities of such techniques and then investigated how to demonstrate timelock freedom in timed automata models. Rodolfo was funded under the Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme (ORS) and via the Computing Laboratory at Kent.
  • Kiran Kalidindi (see following: link 1 and link 2) worked on human reasoning, decision making and the role of emotions in these processes. He developed an abstract neural network model and a reinforcement learning model of the behaviour of normal healthy controls and a spectrum of patient groups on the Iowa Gambling task. He particularly focused on patients with lesions in the ventral medial prefrontal cortex and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, both of whom are known to have decision-making deficits. Kiran was funded by the University of Kent Computing Laboratory.
  • Su Li (see following: link 1 and link 2) worked on the relationship between symbolic and sub-symbolic computation. In particular, he developed a communicating automata based model of neural networks and he explored how to use model checking to answer questions about the class of problems that neural network learning algorithms can learn. In addition, he developed formal methods-based models of how salient distracting items capture human attention, where salience is considered in a semantic and emotional sense. Su Li was partially funded by the University of Kent Computing Laboratory.
  • Patrick Craston worked on temporal attention. Specifically, he ran EEG experiments to understand the temporal dynamics of human attention and to validate predictions arising from (Bowman and Wyble’s) Simultaneous Type, Serial Token model of temporal attention and the attentional blink. These experiments explored the latency and magnitude of the P3 component of the Event Related Potential (ERP). Patrick was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Patrick was jointly supervised with Brad Wyble.
  • Srivas Chennu worked on temporal attention in humans. He undertook a combined EEG, behavioural and computational exploration of the spotlight of temporal attention. This validated predictions arising from Bowman and Wyble’s Simultaneous Type, Serial Token model focused on the temporal acuity that attention provides. Srivas particularly explored feature mis-bindings (also called illusory conjunctions). These arise when multiple salient items, each of which comprises a number of features, are presented in close temporal succession. Srivas was funded by the University of Kent.
  • Kristina Dietz worked on recognition memory in humans. She undertook behavioural and EEG studies of the directed forgetting paradigm in recognition memory. This particularly focused on the mirror effect, which is a well-known regularity of human memory. She also explored computational modelling in this context. Kristina was jointly funded by the Computing and the Psychology departments at Kent and was jointly supervised with Hannie van Hooff in Psychology.


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Last modified April 2012.