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Speech and Motor Neuroscience Group


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Understanding the workings of the brain is one of the greatest challenges in science. Key to this is to understand how sensory information is used to control action.

The Speech and Motor Neuroscience Group uses a combination of computational and experimental approaches in humans to study sensorimotor control.






Conference paper submitted to ESSV 2020 in Magdeburg, Germany

Howard IS (2020), Speech fundamental period estimation using a neural network

ESSV 2020 Magdeburg, Germany.



New paper in PLOS ONE:

Howard IS, Franklin S & Franklin DW (2020)

Asymmetry in kinematic generalization between visual and passive lead-in movements are consistent with a forward model in the sensorimotor system






Conference paper in TAROS 2019 at QMUL, London, UK

Howard IS (2019), A modular 3D-printed inverted pendulum.

K. Althoefer et al. (Eds.): TAROS 2019, LNAI 11649, pp. 1–12, 2019.





Conference paper in ESSV 2019 in Dresden, Germany

Howard IS & Birkholz P (2019)

Modeling Vowel Acquisition using the Birkholz Synthesizer

ESSV 2019 Dresden, Germany.



New paper in British Journal of Psychology

Francis, K. B., Gummerum, M., Ganis, G., Howard, I. S., & Terbeck, S. (2018).

Virtual morality in the helping professions: Simulated action and resilience.

British Journal of Psychology, 109(3), 442-465.



Conference paper in ESSV 2018 in Ulm, Germany

Howard IS & Birkholz P (2018)

Using state feedback to control an articulatory synthesizer

ESSV 2018 Ulm, Germany.




New paper in Scientific Reports

Francis, K., Terbeck, S., Briazu, R., Haines, A., Gummerum, M., Ganis, G. &  Howard, I. S. (2017)

Simulating Moral Actions: An Investigation of Personal Force in Virtual Moral Dilemmas.



New paper in Scientific Reports

Howard IS, Ford C, Cangelosi A & Franklin DW (2017)

Active lead-in variability affects motor memory formation and slows motor learning

Scientific Reports

Example media coverage:

Daily Mail

Medical Xpress



Conference paper submitted to ESSV 2017 in Saarbrücken, Germany

Robotic actuation of a 2D mechanical vocal tract



PhD student Kathryn Francis has a new paper in PlosOne

Francis KB, Howard C, Howard IS, Gummerum M, Ganis G, Anderson G, Terbeck S. (2016)

Virtual Morality: Transitioning from Moral Judgment to Moral Action?

PLOS ONE. 2016 Oct 10;11(10):e0164374. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164374


Example media coverage:

Daily Mail

Medical Daily

Medical Xpress



New paper in Scientific Reports

Howard IS & Franklin DW (2016)

Adaptive tuning functions arise from visual observation of past movement

Scientific Reports



Conference paper submitted to ESSV 2016 in Leipzig, Germany

Towards a mechanical vocal apparatus for vowel production



Onshell Relf joins the lab as a PhD student



New paper in the Journal of Phonetics

Messum P & Howard IS (2015)

Creating the cognitive form of phonological units: the speech sound correspondence problem in infancy could be solved by mirrored vocal interactions rather than by imitation

Journal of Phonetics



New paper in PlosOne:

Howard IS & Franklin DW (2015)

Neural tuning functions underlie both generalization and interference

PLoS ONE, 10(6), e0131268.



New paper in Current Biology:

The Value of the Follow-Through Derives from Motor Learning Depending on Future Actions
Howard IS, Wolpert DM & Franklin DW 

Current Biology: doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.12.037

Example media coverage:


University coverage:






New paper in PlosOne:

Howard IS & Messum P (2014)

Learning to pronounce first words in three languages: an investigation of caregiver and infant behavior using a computational model of an infant.

PLoS ONE 9(10): e110334. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.011033



The Speech and Motor Neuroscience Group is now setup at the University of Plymouth. The lab is well equipped for running experimental investigation in human motor control and facilities include a Bimanual 2BOT manipulandum with air sleds and a force transducer. Shortly a new 3 dimensional 3BOT manipulandum will be available.  To support development, workshop facilities include oscilloscopes, soldering irons, power supplies, signal generators and a small milling machine and lathe.



The Speech and Motor Neuroscience Group will shortly be looking for PhD students and postdocs in the areas of human motor control, infant speech acquisition and computational modeling in both areas.




Copyright © 2005-2014 Ian Howard. All Rights Reserved
Last Changed:  December 2014