PhD Students

PhD Students

Howard Bowman

I am currently supervising a number of PhD students.

  • 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.
  • 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 cluster-based familywise error correction and single-trial analysis. He has applied these methods to understand different states of consciousness.
  • Alexia Zoumpoulaki is developing EEG analysis techniques, and applying them to deception detection. For example, she has worked on applying Dynamic Time Warping to performing latency contrasts in EEG time series; and also assessed the relative benefits of hypothesis testing using bootstrapping versus permutation.
  • Luise Gootjes-Dreesbach is assessing the subjective sense of visibility during the attentional blink task. She has identified interesting patterns of order errors and is now running a first EEG study in this context.
  • Omid Hajilou is running EEG experiments focused on deception detection and brain-computer interaction. He has a particular interest in the processing of facial stimuli and application of such processing in a forensics setting.
  • William Jones is exploring phenomenological awareness in the attentional blink. He is applying cluster-based EEG analysis in this context.
  • George Parish is developing spiking models of long-term memory encoding and retrieval. He is being jointly supervised by Simon Hanslmayr in Psychology at Birmingham.
  • Adrian Witon is applying and developing phase synchrony measures in the context of EEG analysis. He has applied these techniques to distinguish coma and quasi-brain-death states.


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.
  • Marco Filetti developed EEG Subliminal Salience Search; that is, he explored how humans can search amongst a stream of stimuli that is presented so rapidly and with sufficient masking 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 explored such applications, leading to a series of deception detection papers.
  • Jumana Ahmad used EEG to explore how working memory capacity might be impaired in dyslexia. Her work focused on the N-back task, which enables the difficulty of working memory maintenance to be parametrically manipulated. Jumana was jointly supervised with Heather Ferguson in Psychology at Kent.


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Last modified April 2012.