Queen’s University’s Biological Communication Centre (QBCC) is a multi-user research facility for human and animal research on communication. The newly-renovated laboratory is one of the few places in the world that provides the kind of equipment and technical support that allows researchers to simultaneously monitor several communicative behaviours, and to assess audiovisual integration during communication.
Specifically, researchers in this lab are able to measure three-dimensional movements of the vocal tract in adult humans, measure and analyze facial movements, and monitor body, head, and eye position in both humans and animals. Moreover, a variety of computing resources and associated hardware and software permits them to produce the high definition audio and visual stimuli required in studies of animal and human communication. Combined audio-visual test stations and an associated soundproof room also permit researchers at this facility to examine how the auditory and visual channels are integrated in face-to-face communications.
This equipment, combined with excellent technical support, has encouraged a number of researchers to enter into interdisciplinary collaborations to study multimodal integration of information in human-to-human and human-to-machine communication systems.