L to R - Luke Welsh, Ashleigh Chant, Robbie EreŇ°, Hayley Colman, Sam Sparks, Harriet Dempsey-Jones,
Ada Kritikos, Damien Santomauro, Carmelo Vicario, Merryn Constable, Melissa Brinums, Sarah Wong, & Tegan Schultz

The over-arching theme of research in the Perception and Action Lab (McElwain Building, School of Psychology, University of Queensland) is how we interact with others and with the environment. More specifically, we investigate why irrelevant information within our environment alters our actions to goals (relevant information), how humans integrate visual and touch information when they reach to and grasp objects in the environment, and why observing the movement of a human model (biological motion) alters our own actions, whereas observing a robot does not. To do this, we use motion capture and analysis technology, eye tracking, and computerized reaction time tasks.

Join or Visit the Lab

Undergraduates and Postgraduates who are interested in doing a PhD with Ada, or would like some lab experience please get in touch! Drop us an email: Ada - a.kritikos [at] uq.edu.au

Research Topics

Biological motion and action observation.

We are attuned the movement of other humans, we can identify persons, as well as categorise emotions. Intriguingly, the movement of human models can alter our own movement. But robot models making the same movements do not have the same effects on us. The question is, however: are we susceptible to the human appearance of the models, or the underlying parameters of the movement (such as velocity and acceleration)? We use motion capture and analysis technology to address these issues.

Visuo-tactile integration in action comprehension and execution.

Humans rely on the integration of information from multiple sensory modalities to interact successfully with their environment. In this series of studies, we investigate how the human visuomotor system integrates visual and touch information during interacting with objects in the environment.

Distractor interference.

In daily life, we interact with objects in the environment. Some of the information in the environment is goal-relevant, but most is not. While we 'suppress' irrelevant information, it nevertheless changes the way we interact with the goal object. In this series of studies, we focus on exploring the mechanisms of interference. In particular, a recent focus has been whether in some circumstances irrelevant information can aid goal-directed actions.

Social action and object ownership.

Many actions that we perform on a daily basis are socially motivated or at least performed within a social context. We seek to investigate how varying the social context influences motor programs executed towards simple objects. In particular, people quickly form and reliably maintain a sense of ownership over objects and consider the ownership status of objects when interacting with them.  Through motion-capture and reaction-time paradigms involving objects with varying ownership status, we investigate how, and under what circumstances, cognitive representations of object ownership are created, represented, and expressed in action.


People form a coherent, unified perception of the self through the integration of inputs from multiple senses (vision, touch, proprioception and hearing). To what extent is this representation biologically constrained and resistant to change vs. malleable, meaning influenced by external and internal inputs? We investigate this using paradigms developed to look at the rubber hand illusion. Feelings of self-ownership and the locations of body parts can be reliably manipulated using these paradigms.
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