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Dr Ute Leonards
Dr Ute Leonards
Reader in Neuropsychology
DiplBiol, Dr rer nat (Mainz)
Area of research
Visual Perception, Attention and Action
My main research interests lie in the Cognitive Neurosciences, in particular in the investigation of the neural mechanisms underpinning visual perception and attention, and their dependence on context. The definition of context ranges from visual environment over action, memory (and other executive functions) to personality traits and social interaction. My work covers the investigation of perceptual and attentional changes over the entire life span in healthy volunteers and various groups of neurological and psychiatric patients. Moreover, I am interested in the safe interaction between humans and robots.
- Leonards, U., Haworth, J., Tales, A., & Burn, J. (2012 – 2013). Identifying the causes for increased falls in dementia – a pilot study in healthy older and younger volunteers. (BRACE Charity).
- Munafo, M., & Leonards, U. (2012). Plain Tobacco Packaging. (University of Bristol; Enterprise and Impact Development Fund; Ref EIDF016)
- Eder, K., Leonards, U., & Charlesworth, A. (2011-2012). Safe and Trustworthy Autonomous Assistive Robots (STAARs). (University of Bristol~: IAS research workshop scheme)
- Leonards, U. (2011-2012). Joint attention – a psychology driven approach to solve a major challenge in robotics? (EPSRC additional sponsorship fund for women leadership)
- Ludwig, C.J.H., Burn, J.F., Leonards, U., & Bull, D.R. (2010-2014). Bristol Vision Institute Laboratory for Perception and Action. (Wellcome Trust Equipment grant WT089367AIA).
- Harrad, R.A., & Leonards, U. (2010-2011). Binocular interactions in normal vision – a pilot study. (Above and Beyond Charities, Fund 54528)
- Leonards, U. (2011-2012). Attention deficits in children with traumatic brain injury – linking experimental Psychology, CRIC, and Frenchay/BRI. (University of Bristol: IAS – TNRF)
- Bauld, L., Hammond, D., Leonards, U., & Munafò, M. (2011). Effects of Plain Packaging on Neural Response to Health Warnings. (Action on Smoking and Health)
Links within Bristol
Collaborations outside Bristol include:
- Dr Hiroshi Ashida (Kyoto University, Japan)
- Dr Robert Fearns (Bath Spa University, UK)
- Professor Tim Meese (Aston University, UK)
- Dr Mark Hanheide (University of Lincoln , UK)
- Professor Klaus Oberauer (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
- Dr Tatsuya Yoshizawa (Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Japan)
- Professor Johannes Zanker (Royal Holloway University of London, UK)
- Dr Daniele Zavagno (Università di Milano-Bicocca, Italy)
After a degree in biology (Dipl. Biol.) at the University of Mainz, Germany (1985-1991), I worked in research at the Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, Germany (1991-1997). I completed a PhD (Dr.rer.nat.) on the interaction of temporal and textural cues in visual perceptual grouping at the University of Mainz in 1994, followed by two post-doctoral periods at the College-de-France in Paris, France (1997-1998), and at the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven, Belgium (1998-1999), studying the neuronal basis of visual attention and of oculomotor functions with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Between 1999 and 2003, I held a tenure research position at the Neuroimaging Unit within the Department of Psychiatry, University Hospitals of Geneva, Switzerland. In April 2003, I joined the School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol.
- Year 3 Neuropsychiatry
- Msc Neuropsychology Functional Neuroanatomy and Neuroscience Methods
- MSc Neuropsychology Research Projects
- Final year BSc Research Projects
PHD students supervised and co-supervised
- Ed Rooke
- Patrick McGovern
- Erwin Lopez Pulgarin
- visual perception
- visual attention
- vision and action
- joint attention and action
- eye movements
- Alzheimer's disease
- traumatic brain injury in children
- visual psychophysics
- human - robot interaction
- functional magnetic resonance imaging
My main research interests lie in the Cognitive Neurosciences, in particular the investigation of the neural mechanisms underpinning visual perception and attention, and their dependence on context. The definition of context ranges from visual environment over action, memory (and other executive functions) to personality traits and social interaction. My work covers the investigation of perceptual and attentional changes over the entire life span in healthy volunteers and various groups of neurological and psychiatric patients.
visual perception and actionvisual attentionjoint attention and actionageing and dementiaeye movementshuman-robot interactionneuropsychology
- Roscow, EL, Kent, C, Leonards, U & Lepora, NF, 2016, Discrimination-Based Perception for Robot Touch. in: Nathan F Lepora, Anna Mura, Michael Mangan, Paul F M J Verschure, Marc Desmulliez, Tony J Prescott (eds) Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems: 5th International Conference, Living Machines 2016, Edinburgh, UK, July 19-22, 2016. Proceedings. Springer Verlag, pp. 498-502
- Bremner, P & Leonards, UB, 2016, Iconic Gestures for Robot Avatars, Recognition and Integration with Speech. Frontiers in Psychology, vol 7.
- Hedge, C, Oberauer, K & Leonards, U, 2015, Selection in spatial working memory is independent of perceptual selective attention, but they interact in a shared spatial priority map. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, vol 77., pp. 2653-2668
- Bremner, P & Leonards, U, 2015, Effects of Speech and Iconic Gesture Integration for Robotic and Human Communicators – a direct Comparison..
- Leonards, U, Fennell, JG, Oliva, G, Drake, A & Redmill, DW, 2015, Treacherous pavements: Paving slab patterns modify intended walking directions. PLoS ONE, vol 10.
- Fennell, J, Goodwin, C, Burn, J & Leonards, U, 2015, How visual perceptual grouping influences foot placement. Royal Society Open Science, vol 2., pp. 1-12
- Maynard, OM, Leonards, U, Attwood, AS, Bauld, L, Hogarth, L & Munafò, MR, 2015, Effects of first exposure to plain cigarette packaging on smoking behaviour and attitudes: a randomised controlled study. British Medical Council Public Health, vol 15.
- Bremner, P & Leonards, U, 2015, Efficiency of speech and iconic gesture integration for robotic and human communicators - A direct comparison. in: Proceedings of 2015 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA). IEEE. IEEE Institute Electrical Electronics Engineers Inc, pp. 1999-2006
- Bremner, P & Leonards, U, 2015, Speech and Gesture Emphasis Effects for Robotic and Human Communicators: A Direct Comparison. in: ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction. IEEE Computer Society, pp. 255-262
- Dondrup, C, Bellotto, N, Hanheide, M, Eder, KI & Leonards, UB, 2015, A computational model of human-robot spatial interactions based on a qualitative trajectory calculus. Robotics, vol 4., pp. 63-102
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