• Question: Who and how do you think your research and answers could benefit in the future?

    Asked by chloe142005 to Suzanne, Nadine, Daniel on 8 Jan 2018.
    • Photo: Nadine Lavan

      Nadine Lavan answered on 8 Jan 2018:

      I currently work on a project that looks at voice identity: how do we express different aspects of our identity through our voices and what do we make of others people voices. This is largely “basic research” where we are trying to find out new stuff about human behaviour with no direct application. However, you can imagine that people could take the findings of our research and work them into something that will directly benefit others: people lose their voices for a number of reasons. One famous example is Stephen Hawking. People who have lost their voices sometimes communicate through a communication aid that gives him a voice back. However, many people find it frustrating because the voice sound robotic or too generic. If we find out more about how we express our identity through our voice, we could tailor the outputs of the communications aids to better suit the user and thus improve their experience.

    • Photo: Daniel Mills

      Daniel Mills answered on 10 Jan 2018:

      Much of my work is focused on improving animal welfare, but also human animal relationships, so this benefits not only the animals but also their owners. owning a pet whose behaviour you find very challenging can be very stressful. More recently I have been working on the health benefits of pets in the home and workplace. In particular how dogs can reduce stress in families with children with special needs, like those suffering from autism. the results show not only do the dogs help the children directly but also those caring for the child. It seems that having a pet in the home can be a great stress buster.