School of Computing

Howard Bowman

Professor of Cognition & Logic

Photo of Howard Bowman, if available
  • Room G44
    School of Computing
    University of Kent,
    CT2 7NF


My publications are available from the University of Kent's Academic Repository.

Annotated descriptions of my publication work can be found below.

Research Interests

I belong to the following research groups:

Keywords: Human Attention, Emotions, Reasoning, Connectionist Modelling, Symbolic Modelling, EEG Recording and Analysis Methods, Formal Methods and Concurrency Theory.

I am heavily involved in the
Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems
at Kent, which is a focus for much of my research.

I have two main areas of research interest: cognitive neuroscience and formal methods.

Cognitive Neuroscience

In a broad sense, I am interested in how the mind emerges from the brain to generate a spectrum of cognitive capacities. In this respect, I undertake work focusing on the following capacities: perception, consciousness, attention, language, emotions and decision-making. I study these topics using a mixture of methods, which includes behavioural and electrophysiological (EEG) experimentation and connectionist and symbolic modelling.

Study of these topics is especially timely, since modern brain imaging techniques are beginning to reveal the physical mechanisms from which cognition emerges, thus, enabling biologically plausible models of cognition to be constructed. In this area I am currently working on the following topics:

Formal Methods

Formal Methods are mathematically based specification and analysis techniques. They allow the behaviour of systems to be described abstractly, i.e. without having to prescribe implementation details, and then they enable this behaviour to be analysed. Such analysis might amount to checking that a particular property holds over a system or that a certain form of degenerate state cannot be reached. Such analysis can, for example, be used to give greater confidence that a system behaves as intended. Furthermore, you should note that I use the term "system" very generally, as I believe that formal methods are applicable to modelling a wide spectrum of systems: biological, physics, artistic, as well as computing.

There are a wealth of available formal specification notations, e.g. Z, B, CSP, CCS, LOTOS, Timed Automata, StateCharts, Temporal Logics and also many associated analysis techniques, e.g. Model Checking, Theorem Proving, Stochastic Analysis. I have performed research on both the theory underlying formal methods and on application of these methods. I have ongoing research in the following area.

I have previously worked on a number of other topics, which include the following.

General Topics

If you are interested to perform research, especially at PhD level, in any of these areas, mail me.

The following are particular suggestions for PhD work:

The following pages give further general information about my teaching and research activities: The Matlab code for our Psychological Review article can be accessed here.


My teaching is in the are of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience. Specifically, I teach a course on how the brain implements the mind. This focuses on the neural networks in the brain, how they compute, learn and support cognitive capacities, such as, memory perception and language. The key course that covers this material is Cognitive Neural Networks.

Non-academic Interests

Despite what my friends and family might think, I do have some interests outside academia. For example, I have in the past done a lot of drawing.

School of Computing, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

Enquiries: +44 (0)1227 824180 or contact us.

Last Updated: 20/09/2020