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  1. Richard Cook

portrait of Dr Richard Cook

Dr Richard Cook

Lecturer in Psychology

School of Arts and Social Sciences, Department of Psychology

Contact Information


Visit Richard Cook

D429, Rhind Building


Postal Address

City, University of London
Northampton Square
United Kingdom



Dr Cook completed his PhD in the Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences Research Department at University College London (UCL) before taking up a permanent faculty position at City University London in February 2012.


Dr Cook has two principal research interests: the first is social perception, i.e. the mechanisms mediating the perception of human faces, bodies and actions and how they differ from the processes recruited by other “generic” classes of stimuli. While considerable research attention has focused on the recognition of identity from static stimuli, the role of dynamic motion cues remains poorly understood. Equally, the mechanisms mediating perception of human bodies have been largely neglected despite a number of parallels with faces.

His second interest relates to mirror neurons, imitation and the “visuomotor correspondence problem”. Automatic imitation, i.e. the unconscious, unintentional copying of observed actions, is evidence that action observation can excite corresponding motor representations. However, the nature, origins and functions of these visuomotor links, remains the subject of intense debate

PhD supervision

Dr Cook would welcome enquiries from potential PhD students interested in any of these areas. Research interests:
- Automatic imitation and 'mirror' processes
- Face and body perception
- Perception of expressions, emotions and actions


Journal Articles (37)

  1. Brewer, R., Biotti, F., Bird, G. and Cook, R. (2017). Typical integration of emotion cues from bodies and faces in Autism Spectrum Disorder. COGNITION, 165, pp. 82–87. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2017.05.011.
  2. Biotti, F., Gray, K.L.H. and Cook, R. (2017). Impaired body perception in developmental prosopagnosia. Cortex, 93, pp. 41–49. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2017.05.006.
  3. Gray, K.L.H., Barber, L., Murphy, J. and Cook, R. (2017). Social Interaction Contexts Bias the Perceived Expressions of Interactants. EMOTION, 17(4), pp. 567–571. doi:10.1037/emo0000257.
  4. Murphy, J., Gray, K.L.H. and Cook, R. (2017). The composite face illusion. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 24(2), pp. 245–261. doi:10.3758/s13423-016-1131-5.
  5. Brewer, R., Cook, R. and Bird, G. (2016). Alexithymia: A general deficit of interoception. Royal Society Open Science, 3(10) . doi:10.1098/rsos.150664.
  6. Biotti, F. and Cook, R. (2016). Impaired perception of facial emotion in developmental prosopagnosia. Cortex, 81, pp. 126–136. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2016.04.008.
  7. Ipser, A. and Cook, R. (2016). Inducing a concurrent motor load reduces categorization precision for facial expressions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 42(5), pp. 706–718. doi:10.1037/xhp0000177.
  8. Ipser, A., Ring, M., Murphy, J., Gaigg, S.B. and Cook, R. (2016). Similar exemplar pooling processes underlie the learning of facial identity and handwriting style: Evidence from typical observers and individuals with Autism. Neuropsychologia, 85, pp. 169–176. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.03.017.
  9. Cook, R. and Biotti, F. (2016). Developmental prosopagnosia. CURRENT BIOLOGY, 26(8), pp. R312–R313.
  10. Shah, P., Bird, G. and Cook, R. (2016). Face processing in autism: Reduced integration of cross-feature dynamics. Cortex, 75, pp. 113–119. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2015.11.019.
  11. Brewer, R., Biotti, F., Catmur, C., Press, C., Happe, F., Cook, R. and Bird, G. (2016). Can Neurotypical Individuals Read Autistic Facial Expressions? Atypical Production of Emotional Facial Expressions in Autism Spectrum Disorders. AUTISM RESEARCH, 9(2), pp. 262–271. doi:10.1002/aur.1508.
  12. Brewer, R., Collins, F., Cook, R. and Bird, G. (2015). Atypical trait inferences from facial cues in alexithymia. Emotion, 15(5), pp. 637–643. doi:10.1037/emo0000066.
  13. Brewer, R., Marsh, A.A., Catmur, C., Cardinale, E.M., Stoycos, S., Cook, R. and Bird, G. (2015). The impact of autism spectrum disorder and alexithymia on judgments of moral acceptability. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 124(3), pp. 589–595. doi:10.1037/abn0000076.
  14. Shah, P., Gaule, A., Sowden, S., Bird, G. and Cook, R. (2015). The 20-item prosopagnosia index (PI20): A self-report instrument for identifying developmental prosopagnosia. Royal Society Open Science, 2(6) . doi:10.1098/rsos.140343.
  15. Cook, R., Aichelburg, C. and Johnston, A. (2015). Illusory Feature Slowing: Evidence for Perceptual Models of Global Facial Change. Psychological Science, 26(4), pp. 512–517. doi:10.1177/0956797614567340.
  16. Press, C. and Cook, R. (2015). Beyond action-specific simulation: Domain-general motor contributions to perception. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19(4), pp. 176–178. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2015.01.006.
  17. Murphy, J., Ipser, A., Gaigg, S.B. and Cook, R. (2015). Exemplar variance supports robust learning of facial identity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 41(3), pp. 577–581. doi:10.1037/xhp0000049.
  18. Brewer, R., Happé, F., Cook, R., Bird, G. and Bird, G. (2015). Commentary on "Autism, oxytocin and interoception": Alexithymia, not Autism Spectrum Disorders, is the consequence of interoceptive failure. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews . doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.07.006.
  19. Brewer, R., Cook, R., Cardi, V., Treasure, J. and Bird, G. (2015). Emotion recognition deficits in eating disorders are explained by co-occurring alexithymia. Royal Society Open Science, 2(1) . doi:10.1098/rsos.140382.
  20. Shah, P., Happé, F., Sowden, S., Cook, R. and Bird, G. (2015). Orienting Toward Face-Like Stimuli in Early Childhood. Child Development, 86(6), pp. 1693–1700. doi:10.1111/cdev.12441.
  21. Cook, R.J., Shah, P., Gaule, A., Gaigg, S. and Bird, G. (2014). Probing short-term face memory in developmental prosopagnosia. Cortex, 64, pp. 115–122. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2014.10.006.
  22. Cook, R., Brewer, R., Shah, P. and Bird, G. (2014). Intact facial adaptation in autistic adults. Autism Res, 7(4), pp. 481–490. doi:10.1002/aur.1381.
  23. Cook, R., Bird, G., Catmur, C., Press, C. and Heyes, C. (2014). Mirror neurons: From origin to function. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37(2), pp. 177–192. doi:10.1017/S0140525X13000903.
  24. Cook, R., Gaule, A., Aichelburg, C. and Press, C. (2014). Motor contributions to the perception of relative phase. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 40(5), pp. 1763–1768. doi:10.1037/a0037351.
  25. Press, C., Berlot, E., Bird, G., Ivry, R. and Cook, R. (2014). Moving time: The influence of action on duration perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(5), pp. 1787–1793. doi:10.1037/a0037650.
  26. Catmur, C., Press, C., Cook, R., Bird, G. and Heyes, C. (2014). Mirror neurons: Tests and testability. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 37(2), pp. 221–241. doi:10.1017/S0140525X13002793.
  27. Shah, P., Gaule, A., Bird, G. and Cook, R. (2013). Robust orienting to protofacial stimuli in autism. CURRENT BIOLOGY, 23(24), pp. R1087–R1088. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2013.10.034.
  28. Cook, R. and Bird, G. (2013). Do mirror neurons really mirror and do they really code for action goals? Cortex, 49(10), pp. 2944–2945. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2013.05.006.
  29. Bird, G. and Cook, R. (2013). Mixed emotions: The contribution of alexithymia to the emotional symptoms of autism. Translational Psychiatry, 3 . doi:10.1038/tp.2013.61.
  30. Cook, R., Brewer, R., Shah, P. and Bird, G. (2013). Alexithymia, not autism, predicts poor recognition of emotional facial expressions. Psychol Sci, 24(5), pp. 723–732. doi:10.1177/0956797612463582.
  31. Cooper, R.P., Cook, R., Dickinson, A. and Heyes, C.M. (2013). Associative (not Hebbian) learning and the mirror neuron system. NEUROSCIENCE LETTERS, 540, pp. 28–36. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2012.10.002.
  32. Cook, R., Johnston, A. and Heyes, C. (2013). Facial Self-Imitation: Objective Measurement Reveals No Improvement Without Visual Feedback. Psychological Science, 24(1), pp. 93–98. doi:10.1177/0956797612452568.
  33. Cook, R., Dickinson, A. and Heyes, C. (2012). Contextual modulation of mirror and countermirror sensorimotor associations. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141(4), pp. 774–787. doi:10.1037/a0027561.
  34. Cook, R. (2012). The ontogenetic origins of mirror neurons: evidence from 'tool-use' and 'audiovisual' mirror neurons. Biol Lett, 8(5), pp. 856–859. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2012.0192.
  35. Cook, R., Johnston, A. and Heyes, C. (2012). Self-recognition of avatar motion: how do I know it's me? PROCEEDINGS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY B-BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, 279(1729), pp. 669–674. doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.1264.
  36. Press, C., Catmur, C., Cook, R., Widmann, H., Heyes, C. and Bird, G. (2012). FMRI evidence of 'mirror' responses to geometric shapes. PLoS One, 7(12), p. e51934. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051934.
  37. Gray, K.L.H., Bird, G. and Cook, R.J. Robust associations between the 20-Item Prosopagnosia Index and the Cambridge Face Memory Test in the general population. Royal Society Open Science .


- PS1009 Psychology at City
- PS3026 Social perception

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