alive staff
Some of the ALIVE staff, from left to right: Time Meese, Tecla Bonci, Elleanor Callaghan, Stuart Wallis, Hongfang Wang, Nicholas Alexander, Ulysses Bernardet.

The ALIVE laboratory team is made up of researchers from the Aston University Schools of Life & Health Science and Engineering & Applied Science.

Director of ALIVE (CVHR: the Centre for Vision and Hearing Research)

Tim Meese, Department of Optometry, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University,

I am a psychophysicist and computational modeler, with long-standing interests in spatial vision, contrast gain control, binocular vision, and depth perception. More generally, from an information processing point of view, I am interested in where the privileges of perceptual access lie. (i.e. what parts of the information processing stream are available to conscious perceptual decision making, and what parts remain hidden from us?). More recently, I have also become interested in the interface between visual perception (the stage) and social perception (the players on that stage), known as social vision. Current projects include size constancy in the CAVE, detection of depth cues in the CAVE and size discrimination in the CAVE.


Co-Director of ALIVE

Klaus Kessler, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University,

I am the Deputy Director of ALIVE (responsible for HMDs, driving simulator, and electrophysiological equipment). My research interests include: Neural correlates of embodiment, social cognition, executive functions and memory in VR, ageing. Platforms and equipment: Oculus Rift + Touch (HMD), CAVE, Driving Simulator, eego sports (mobile EEG), Starstim (mobile tES), Virtualizer (omnidirectional treadmill), perception-neuron (mocap). 

Meet the lab members and collaborators:

Joanna LumsdenReader & Director of the Aston Interactive Media (AIM) Lab, Department of Computer Science, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Aston University,

I am one of the founding Principal Investigators of the ALIVE facility.  My interests lie in using the ALIVE resources to both facilitate and evaluate human interaction with technology, particularly mobile technology.


Stuart Wallis, Research Fellow, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University,

I am a psychophysicist with a background in optometry. I am primarily responsible for the virtual reality ‘CAVE’. I am interested in visual perception within VR and the simulation of visual problems (such as macular degeneration). 


James S. Wolffsohn, Professor of Optometry, Biomedical Engineering Subject Lead, and Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University. Adjunct Professor of Optometry, University of Houston.

My research interests are in the effect of ophthalmic medical devices such as contact lenses and intraocular lenses on mobility and driving.


Tecla BonciTeaching Fellow, Biomedical Engineering, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University.

My roles in ALIVE include teaching activities in the motion capture lab, and rehabilitation protocols and increasing the resolution of human movement analysis, performed using stereophotogrammetry, addressing the principal sources of error in this context.


Stephen J Anderson, Chair of Optometry and Visual Neuroscience, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University.

I have a background in optometry and experimental psychology/visual perception. My research brings expertise in the fundamentals of visual perception to clinical and applied projects such as work on myopia.


Nicholas Alexander, Joint PhD student between Aston University (50th Anniversary Scholarship) and the University of Nottingham.

I am a PhD student working on decision making by police officers under stress.


Eleanor Callaghan, PhD student, Aston Brain Centre and Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing, Aston University.

I am a PhD student working on attentional switching while driving in older adults.


Ulysses Bernardet, Lecturer in Computer Science, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Aston University.

I have a background in psychology, computer science, and neurobiology. My R&D comprises three main areas: Designing real-time interactive virtual human systems; empirical research on human cognition and human-machine interaction; and developing open-source tools for teaching and research.


Hongfang Wang, Research Fellow, Aston Brain Centre (ABC) and Aston Laboratory for Immersive Virual Environments (ALIVE) and Psychology Department, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University.

My research interests include brain network dynamics study in healthy and patients using graph theory and statistical learning techniques, and with the aid of MEG (magnetoencephalography), EEG, and virtual  reality equipments.


Antonio Fratini, Senior Lecturer, Biomedical Engineering, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University.

I have a background in electronics and biomedical engineering. My research activities fit in the fields of biomedical data processing and medical instrumentation. I have been mainly devoted to the study of musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems and the analysis of physiological states in healthy, injured or diseased subjects.


Panagiotis PetridisSenior Lecturer, Gamification, Aston Business School, Aston University,

I have spent my entire career working in the field of virtual reality, simulation and gaming; something which I enjoy as a hobby as much as a vocation. My interest is in how these technologies can be used to change people’s behaviours, to help them make decisions and learn about things through realistic simulated experiences. I hold a PhD in Computer Graphics from Sussex University titled “Interactions in Digital Heritage Systems".

Dr Andrew Schofield

Dr Andrew Schofield Reader in Psychology,

I have been working in the field of Visual Perception for nearly 30 years but have always combined this with a strong interest in Computer Vision and Machine Learning including Neural Networks.