News and Events

OCTOBER 2015 – Celebrating 3 years at the University of East Anglia. 

The iconic Ziggurats at UEA.

The iconic Ziggurats at UEA.

Three years have flown past at UEA since the School of Psychology formally opened – the newest School of Psychology in a research-intensive university in the UK. Check out the most recent news and events from the School here.






SEPTEMBER 2015 – Winner of the 2015 British Psychological Society Cognitive Prize. 

BPS logoThe BPS Cognitive Psychology Section Award recognises outstanding published contributions to research in the area of Cognitive Psychology. Eligible publications (covered the years 2013 and 2014 for the 2015 prize) are limited to scientific journal papers published reporting novel observations and providing significant theoretical insight into human cognition. The Award Panel gives greater consideration to studies with broad appeal and widespread implications, particularly studies that address longstanding problems and that advance conceptual understanding in unexpected or counterintuitive ways.

Kenny won the award for his paper (coauthored with Debbie Griffiths and Colin Hamilton) entitled Spatial demonstratives and perceptual space.  The paper can be read and downloaded here.

He presented the prize-winning keynote address at the Cognitive Psychology Annual Conference at Kent in September 2015. More information about the prize can be found here.


AUGUST 2015 – New grant announcement: Kenny to coordinate a new 3.46 million Marie Sklodowska Curie European Training Network on Deictic Communication (DCOMM), commencing in February 2016 (for four years).

logo-h2020DCOMM ABSTRACT: Deictic communication is fundamental to understanding communication in both typical and atypical populations, and forms the key connection between language and objects/locations in the world. It is therefore critical to understanding human-human interaction, and human-system interaction in a range of technology applications – from mobile phones to cognitive robotics – and to the enhancement of clinical and educational interventions with typical and atypical populations. This ETN will train the next generation of scientists in the full range of multidisciplinary and cross-sectorial methods necessary to make significant progress in understanding deictic communication, with direct synergies between basic research and application. Training is structured around two interdisciplinary research themes – Understanding Deictic Communication and Deictic Communication in Application – both involving extensive and systematic co-supervision and collaboration across sites with key interplay between academic and nonacademic beneficiaries and partners. In turn we expect that a range of applications will be enhanced with increased usability, with associated societal and economic benefit. The training of the cohort of ESR fellows is based on innovative PhD training approaches, providing not only training in interdisciplinary methods, but also employing peer-assisted methods and the latest in educational innovation. This will produce a cohort of highly skilled researchers who will be highly employable given the potential contribution they will make to future research and innovation in the public and private sectors.

The project announcement, with a full list of academic colloborators and fellow beneficiaries across Europe, can be found here.



AUGUST 2015 – Keynote address on Spatial demonstratives and perceptual space at the 5th Conference of the Scandinavian Association for Language and Cognition, held in Trondheim, Norway. 

SALC logoThe conference programme can be viewed here.





JULY 2015 – Presentation at the UEA Climate Change Research day 2015 highlights the need for interdisciplinary science. 

Kenny CoventryIt is important that climate change scientists and cognitive and psychological scientists work together to facilitate the effective communication of climate change data to decision makers and the general public. UEA is spearheading efforts to do this, and this research day was a showcase for discussion of communicating big data in this domain.




JULY 2015 – Keynote address at the British Machine Vision Association Workshop on Context Aware Cognitive Systems at the British Computer Association in London.

BMVA logo

The programme can be viewed here.




FEBRUARY 2015 – Kenny hosts Lanpercept workshop and training school on Language and Perception: Theoretical Foundations and Connections.

The keynote speakers were Barbara Landau (Johns Hopkins, USA), Rolf Zwaan (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Gabriella Vigliocco (University College London), with participants from all over the world. The event was held in the historic Council House at the University of East Anglia.

Participants at workshop hosted at UEA.

Participants at the Language and Perception workshop hosted at UEA.



JANUARY 2015 – Invited talk on Spatial language and perceptual space at the Diagrams in Language Winter Symposium, Aarhus, Denmark.  

Diagrams AarhusInformation about the event is here.





SEPTEMBER 2014 – Opening address at the Workshop on Spatial Language Modules, held at the  Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg, Germany. 

The Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg, Delmenhorst, Germany

The Hanse Wissenschaftskolleg.

Information about the event can be found here.






JANUARY 2014 – Understanding Dyadic Interaction doctoral training event hosted by Kenny at UEA. 

Dyadic Interaction Training EventThe event brought together leading speakers from across the UK approaching dyadic interaction from  a range of different perspectives (from left to right): Lynden Miles (University of Aberdeen), Andrew Bayliss (UEA), Neil Cooper (UEA), Martin Pickering (University of Edinburgh) and Daniel Richardson (University College London, out of shot).



DECEMBER 2013 – New paper on spatial demonstratives and perceptual space accepted in Cognitive Psychology.

The paper, coauthored with Debbie Griffiths (UEA) and Colin Hamilton (Northumbria University Newcastle), presents the results of seven experiments systematically testing the influence of distance, and object properties – ownership, visibility, familiarity – on both demonstrative choice (this versus that) and memory for object location. The work emanated from an ESRC grant awarded to Coventry and Hamilton that was rated outstanding in final evaluation.

The paper can be read and downloaded here.



JANUARY 2013 – New Marie Curie ITN grant commences, value 4.2 million Euros, awarded to Kenny and colleagues across Europe. 
FullBeneficiaries_Logosamlet_v2Language and Perception (Lanpercept) is a unique collaborative approach to understanding the interaction between two central cognitive systems: language and perception, and will run until 2016. Coordinated by Professor Mila Vulchanova (NTNU, Norway), with Kenny as PI at the University of East Anglia and further PIs across Europe, the grant will train the next generation of scientists on the mapping of language and perception across the lifespan in both healthy and atypical populations, in theoretical approaches to the relationship between language and perception, and in the development of new technologies to further understand the mapping between them.

Visit the grant website here.




OCTOBER 2012 – Kenny moves to the University of East Anglia to take up the post of Chair in Psychology and Inaugural Head of the School of Psychology.

UEA logoThe School of Psychology website can be found here.





AUGUST 2012 – The Embodied and Situated Language Processing Conference (ESLP2012) comes to Newcastle.

ESLP newcastleHosted by the Cognition and Communication Research Centre and chaired by Kenny, Larry Taylor and Paul Engelhardt, the conference page and programme can be browsed here.






MARCH 2012 – Kenny gives a talk with Alastair Campbell (former advisor to British Prime Minister Tony Blair), on the science of decision making.

The event was organised by Newcastle Science City, and staged in association with the Newcastle Science Festival. Kenny talked about the science of decision making, and Alastair discussed the realities of decision making in government. The individual talks were followed by a joint question and answer session from the audience.

Laura Lord, Newcastle Science City said: “Both Kenny and Alastair went down a storm and I have heard nothing but positive comments about both presentations.”

Head of Newcastle City Library, where the talks took place, said “It was a real pleasure to see a full house at the Library enthralled by two very different, but wonderfully entertaining speakers.”











MARCH 2012 – Keynote address at the Conference on Interdisciplinarity in Cognitive Science Research, held at the Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow.

Russian State University for the Humanities.

Russian State University for the Humanities.









MARCH 2012 – Kenny goes to Brussels to the European Parliament to attend a European Research Leadership in Robotics working lunch debate.

EU parliament logope_engThe debate, organised by Professor Ioannis A. Tsoukalas (MEP) and Professor Angelo Cangelosi (Plymouth University), brings together European and US scientists, industry experts, and representatives of the European Institutions to explore the state of the art in robotics research and discuss future R&D challenges and plans to sustain European leadership in this field.





DECEMBER 2011 – New film funded by the Economic and Social Research Council showcases work on language and perception, featuring work on spatial demonstratives and perceptual space.

On language and perceptionView the film here.








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