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 Staff Team

Dr Kris McCarty

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

 

His PhD research investigated female perceptions of male dance movements where he pioneered the use of a 3D motion capture suite in Sports Central to precisely record the movements of men with clinical accuracy. He then converted the resulting movement data (which is a collection of moving dots) into standardised humanoid avatars (or virtual CGI characters) before getting them rated by women. He has published his findings in high quality international journals such as Biology Letters.

Following his PhD, Kris was granted a Research Fellowship at Northumbria to continue his work in biological motion, further develop his motion capture technology and to expand its focus to other areas of psychology. Kris is currently developing a methodology that will allow for the recording of intricate hand gestures and facial expressions that will be used to investigate emotion perception problems with those with intellectual disabilities and autism. In addition to this, he is also working on the development of hyper realistic CGI characters for use in a variety of studies and disciplines (for example, evolutionary psychology, neuropsychology, body image and cognitive psychology) that will vastly improve the stimuli in these areas of research by removing all ambiguities of past work whilst still maintaining precise control over their features. Examples of these can be found on his personal website.

In addition to his research activities, Kris is also the Psychology Lab Manager where he oversees the department’s specialist hardware and software (for example eye trackers, body scanners, stimuli presentation computers, motion capture systems and virtual reality suite) and provides training to staff and students on their use. Also as part of this role, Kris programs bespoke experiments for staff and students using Python and the PsychoPy libraries.