University of BathResearch focus: Attention and visual impairment
Dr. Michael Proulx is an expert in the psychology and neuroscience of attention, visual impairment and technology at the University of Bath in the UK. In his work on blindness, he has made ground-breaking findings that reveal how blindness changes the brain and psychological processing, and helped to develop and test cutting-edge assistive technology for visual impairments.
He discovered that congenitally blind individuals have different mental maps, different spatial representations of numbers, and enhanced memory for words that is less prone to the development of false memories than those who have seen or continue to see. He is not only making these critical findings in basic research, but aims to assist as well through his studies of technology, including The vOICe, which allows “seeing with sound” for blind people by turning images into sounds that contain the missing visual features.
Dr. Proulx has also made fundamental contributions to the understanding of a core cognitive ability, attention, through his studies of vision in humans and non-human animals. This work has garnered a number of awards, grants, and international attention in the press and with invited lectures. This work was prominently featured in The Guardian, with prior coverage by BBC News, Reuters, Welsh and Persian language channels, and numerous radio interviews internationally.
A number of funding sources have supported this work, including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the European Union, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the British Academy. The most notable honour for this research on visual impairment came when he was selected to be a Torchbearer for the Paralympic Games in London 2012. Visit Dr. Proulx’s website.
Reach out to Dr. Proulx on Twitter to say THANK YOU for the psychological research that he does! And be sure to use the hashtag #thankascientist.