University of Bath
"What does it mean, to see?" My
primary interest in psychology, neuroscience, and computer
science is cognition. My research has advanced from first
examining cognition and attentional control within the visual
system to now examine how multisensory processing contributes to
perception and cognition. Working with blind individuals in
particular helps to reveal the role of visual experience for
cognition and how the "visual" parts of the brain process other
information in the absence of visual input. Much of this work
has used a 'sensory-substitution' device (called The vOICe ) that provides
visual information by translating visual input into sound. I
therefore study multiple sensory modalities and utilize multiple
methods to best understand the psychological and neural
underpinnings of cognition in human and non-human animals. Other
current projects include virtual reality (VR), the rubber hand
illusion, visual decision-making in zebrafish and bees,
perceptual learning, spatial cognition, numerical
representation, semantic memory, cognitive evolution,
synaesthesia, neurostimulation, crossmodal collaboration, and
We currently have funding for a project with Atkins Global
(design, engineering and project management firm) and a
collaboration with Prof Zalina Ismail at Universiti Sains
Malaysia on a neurocognitive study of educational interventions
along with Toyohashi University of Technology.
I have had an EPSRC
funded project with colleagues in computer science at Queen Mary
and Goldsmiths for the development of Design Patterns for
I was also part of an Arts
Council funded collaboration with three artists and a
lighting designer called Trans:Space
to address the question: "How do we perceive our environment
through sound and how can we interpret that for an audience?"
The project was initiated by the artist Jane Pitt.
Scheller, M., Petrini, K., & Proulx, M. J. (in press).
Perception and interactive technology.
Stevens Handbook of
Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, 4th
edition: Volume 2, Sensation, Perception & Attention
(John Serences, ed.). New York: Wiley. Karim, A. K. M. R., Proulx, M. J., de Sousa, A. A., Karmakera,
C., Rahman, A., Karim, F., & Nigara, N. (2017).
right way to kiss: Directionality bias in head turning during
kissing. Nature Scientific Reports, 7, doi:
Jonas, C., Spiller, M. J., Hibbard, P. B., & Proulx, M.
to the Special Issue on Individual Differences in Multisensory
Perception: an Overview. Multisensory Research, 30,
461-466. Esenkaya, T., & Proulx, M. J. (2017).
processing and sensory substitution: Is "seeing" with sound
and touch a form of perception or cognition? Behavioral
and Brain Sciences, 39. Finnegan, D. J., O'Neill, E., & Proulx, M. J. (2017).
approach to reducing distance compression in audiovisual
virtual environments. 2017 IEEE 3rd VR Workshop on
Sonic Interactions for Virtual Environments (SIVE), (pp.
Karim, A. K. M. R., Proulx, M. J., & Likova, L. (2016).
or clockwise? A dynamic perception-action-laterality model for
directionality bias in visuospatial functioning? Neuroscience
and Biobehavioral Reviews, 68, 669-693.
Brown, D.J. & Proulx, M.J. (2016).
substitution for blind individuals: Addressing human
information processing capacity limitations. IEEE
Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing, 10,
Proulx, M. J., Todorov, O., Taylor Aiken, A., & de Sousa,
A. A. (2016).
am I? Who am I? The relation between spatial and social
cognition in the built environment. Frontiers in
Psychology, 7. doi=10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00064
Finnegan, D. J., O'Neill, E., & Proulx, M. J. (2016, May).
for Distance Compression in Audiovisual Virtual Environments
Using Incongruence. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI
Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp.
Proulx, M. J., Gwinnutt, J., Dell'Erba, S., Levy-Tzedek, S.,
de Sousa, A. A., & Brown, D. J. (2016).
ways of seeing: from behavior to neural mechanisms in the
online "visual" control of action with sensory substitution.
Restorative Neurology & Neuroscience , 34,
Brown, D. J., Simpson, A. J. S., & Proulx, M.J. (2015).
Scene Analysis and sonified visual images: Does consonance
negatively impact on object formation when using complex
sonified stimuli? Frontiers in Psychology, 6. doi:
Lv, J., Proulx, M.J., & Osman, M. (2015). The role of
personal values and empathy in a cooperative game.
of Social Sciences Research, 9, 1834-1844.
Pasqualotto, A., Kobanbay, B., & Proulx, M. J. (2015).
stimulation has a long-term effect on foreign vocabulary
acquisition. Neural Plasticity, 2015, 7.
Pasqualotto, A., & Proulx, M.J. (2015).
rubber-hand illusion: The Dorian Gray hand illusion. Multisensory
Research, 28, 101-110.
Brown, D. J., Simpson, A. J. R., & Proulx, M. J. (2014).
objects in the auditory system via sensory substitution: How
much information do we need? Multisensory Research. Proulx, M. J., Parker, M. O., Tahir, Y., & Brennan, C. H.
mechanisms for visual search in zebrafish. PLoS ONE. de Sousa, A. A., & Proulx, M. J. (2014).
can volumes reveal about human brain evolution? A framework
for bridging behavioral, histometric and volumetric
perspectives. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, 8, 51.
doi: 10.3389/fnana.2014.00051 Proulx, M. J., Brown, D., Pasqualotto, A., & Meijer, P.
perceptual learning and sensory substitution. Neuroscience
and Biobehavioral Reviews, 41, 16-25. doi:
10.1016/j.neubiorev.2012.11.017 Proulx, M. J., Ptito, M., & Amedi, A. (2014).
integration, sensory substitution and visual rehabilitation.
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 41, 1-2. doi:
10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.03.004 Proulx, M. J. (2014).
The perception of shape
from shading in a new light. PeerJ, 2, e363. doi:
10.7717/peerj.363. Proulx, M. J. & Elmasry, H. M. (2014).
interference in adults with dyslexia. Neurocase,
(Epub ahead of print May 12: 1-5). Pasqualotto, A., Taya, S., & Proulx, M. J. (2014).
deprivation: Visual experience alters the mental number line.
Behavioral Brain Research, 261, 110-113. Pasqualotto, A. & Proulx, M. J. (2014)
short-term false memory formation. The Journal of
Neurobehavioral Sciences, 1, 3-8.
Brown, D. J., & Proulx, M. J. (2013).
signal complexity improves the breadth of generalization in
auditory perceptual learning. Neural Plasticity,
2013, 9. doi: 10.1155/2013/879047 Wang, M. Y., Ings, T. C., Proulx, M. J., & Chittka, L.
bees simultaneously engage in adaptive foraging behaviour and
attend to cryptic predators? Animal Behaviour,
86, 859-866. Haigh, A., Brown, D., Meijer, P., & Proulx, M. J. (2013).
well do you see what you hear? The acuity of
visual-to-auditory sensory substitution. Frontiers in
Psychology, 4, 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00330 (Special Issue
Cognitive Science Research Topic on Synaesthesia)
Proulx, M. J. (2013).
the process and content of research into lectures, the
laboratory, and study time. College Teaching, 61, 85-87. Proulx, M. J. (2013).
remapping the brain and the restoration of vision. Psychological
Science Agenda. American Psychological Association. Proulx, M. J. (2013). Visual Search. In H. Pashler, T. Crane,
M. Kinsbourne, F. Ferreira, & R. Zemel (Eds.),
of the Mind (Vol. 2, pp. 762-765). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Publications. Pasqualotto, A., Spiller, M. J., Jansari, A. S., & Proulx,
M. J. (2013).
experience facilitates allocentric spatial representation.
Behavioural Brain Research.
Haji Mirza, S. N., Proulx, M. J., & Izquierdo, E. (2013).
users' minds from their eyes for implicit image annotation.
IEEE Transactions on Multimedia.
Pasqualotto, A. & Proulx, M. J. (2012).
role of visual experience for the neural basis of spatial
cognition. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews,
36, 1179-1187. Proulx, M. J. & Green, M. (2011).
apparent size capture attention in visual search? Evidence
from the Mueller-Lyer illusion. Journal of Vision, 11(13):21,
doi:10.1167/11.13.21. Proulx, M. J. (2011).
what, why and how. Science, 332, 1034-1035. Proulx, M. J. (2011).
differences and metacognitive knowledge of visual search
strategy. PLoS ONE, 6, e27043. Proulx, M. J. (2010).
matters: Large objects capture attention in visual search.
PLoS ONE, 5, e15293. Proulx, M. J. (2010).
synaesthesia and sensory substitution. Consciousness
and Cognition, 19, 501-503. Zehetleitner, M., Proulx, M. J., & Mueller, H. J. (2009).
singleton interference in efficient visual search: a common
salience route for detection and compound tasks.
Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 71, 1760-1770. Proulx, M. J., & Harder, A. (2008).
Substitution. Visual-to-auditory sensory substitution
devices for the blind. Dutch Journal of Ergonomics/
Tijdschrift voor Ergonomie, 33, 20-22. Liang, M., van Leeuwen, T. M., & Proulx, M. J. (2008).
of brain activity during audiovisual integration. The
Journal of Neuroscience, 28, 8861-8862. Proulx, M. J., Stoerig, P., Ludowig, E., & Knoll, I.
"where" through the ears: Effects of learning-by-doing and
long-term sensory deprivation on localization based on
image-to-sound substitution. PLoS ONE, 3, e1840. Proulx, M. J. & Egeth, H. E. (2008).
and visual search: the role of luminance and size contrast.
Psychological Research, 72, 106-113. Homa, D., Proulx, M. J., & Blair, M. (2008).
modulating influence of category size on the classification of
exception patterns. Quarterly Journal of Experimental
Psychology, 61, 425-443. Proulx, M. J. (2007).
on the spotlight: Do attention and luminance contrast affect
neuronal responses in the same way? The Journal of
Neuroscience, 27, 13043-13044. Proulx, M. J. (2007).
guidance in visual search for conjunctions. Journal of
Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance,
33, 48-56. Proulx, M. J. & Stoerig, P. (2006).
sounds and tingling tongues: Qualia in synaesthesia and
sensory substitution. Anthropology & Philosophy, 7,
135-151. Proulx, M. J. & Serences, J. T. (2006).
for an oddball: neural correlates of singleton detection mode
in parietal cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience, 26,
12631-12632. Proulx, M. J. & Egeth, H. E. (2006).
similarity modulates stimulus driven control in visual search.
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 13, 524-529.
: News and Demos
BSc student Crescent Jicol received the Wellcome Trust
Biomedical Vacation Scholarship for a summer project in the lab
Dr Alexandra de Sousa and Michael received a British Council
Second City Partnership Travel Grant to form new collaborations
with researchers at the
Bandung Institute of
Technology and the University of Indonesia
The lab received a Public Engagement Award to present at The
Science Museum (London) "You have been upgraded" festival
Dr Karin Petrini and Michael received a British Academy Small
Grant Award to examine the development of multisensory
integration in visual impairment
New clip from S4C (Welsh national television) on seeing with
sound with The vOICe:
to S4C Video
Youtube clip of a recent talk at the Academy for Neuroscience
in Architecture (ANFA) held at the Salk Institute:
A clip from Reuters
on our work with The vOICe:
Watch a clip from the Tech Show, The One Show, BBC News
24, or the British Academy:
Michael and Dave were interviewed for Manoto 1's Tech
Show (the largest Persian-language channel) on sensory
substitution, blindness and neuroplasticity.
Michael has been elected Fellow of the Society for
Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Science (American
"How well do you see what you hear?" Our new paper in
Frontiers in Psychology (with Alastair Haigh, Dave Brown, and
The vOICe inventor Peter Meijer) is now published and received
media attention from BBC Radio
Bristol, BBC Radio 5
Live, Time Magazine and others in print.
Michael and Dave spent a day teaching the BBC presenter Peter White to use
The vOICe and
talking about the psychological and neural research related to
sensory substitution. The segment appeared on The One Show
on BBC One. More information here.
A paper in Behavioural Brain Research (with
Achille Pasqualotto and Jade Lam) has received extensive media
attention (more information here.).
We also presented our work at a British Academy meeting on
Sensory Substitution including a demo of The vOICe.
Michael also spoke recently at the International
Multisensory Research Forum and a Sensory Substitution
Workshop at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies in
Jerusalem, Israel, June 2013.
Michael is an invited speaker at
Brain Workshop in Pisa, Italy, October 2013 Michael spoke at the
Academy Conference on Sensory Substitution and Augmentation,
Can you hack it? Michael spoke at the
Science Festival on "body hacking" for sensory
augmentation, March 2013
Michael hosted the
Stimulation Workshop in Bath on 6 March 2013. Michael was interviewed by
Neuropod podcast: Nature
Dr Michael J. Proulx
Department of Psychology
Associate Professor (Reader) in
University of Bath
Digital Entertainment (MSc, PhD and EngD supervision)
Visiting Senior Lecturer in Electronic Engineering,
Multimedia and Vision
Group, Queen Mary University of London
Public Outreach or Invited Speaker Profile:
+44 1225 385963
email@example.com Postal Address:
Dr Michael J. Proulx
Department of Psychology
University of Bath