Research Interests

Technology and Movement

Nicola's research interests are human movement and expression, embodiment, intersubjectivity and the vicarious experience of empathy. Situated within the fields of phenomenology, human interaction and embodied cognitive science, she focuses on non-verbal interaction, particularly gesture, in the expression of felt experience and emotion with a view to reveal the nature of the embodied mechanisms behind empathy and intersubjectivity. Her research asks: What qualities of movement convey the intangible aspects of human experience? What does it mean to be embodied? How can technology augment or embody the experience of embodiment?

Nicola is interested in using interactive technologies in her research, with a special interest in motion capture, interactive installation design and human computer interaction.

Technology and Education

Nicola is a Research Assistant for the Teaching London Computing Project at Queen Mary University of London. She develops teaching resources and applications to inspire and engage school teachers and students in computing and with new technologies. Nicola is particulary interested in the interdisciplinarity of computer science education and creative fields, in terms of pedagological practices but also as an anchor for diversity in computing and engineering. She has over 6+ years of experience in peer-to-peer computing teaching and leading creative coding workshops.


Healey, P. G., Plant, N., Howes, C., and Lavelle, M. (2015) When Words Fail: Collaborative Gestures During Clarification Dialogues. In 2015 AAAI Spring Symposium Series.

Curzon, P., McOwan, P. W., Plant, N., and Meagher, L. R. (2014) Introducing Teachers to Computational Thinking Using Unplugged Storytelling. In Proceedings of the 9th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education (pp. 89-92). ACM.

Plant, N., and Healey, P. G. (2013). Surface Tension. In CHI'13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2979-2982). ACM.

Plant, N., and Healey, P. G. (2012) Empathy and Feedback in Conversations About Felt Experience. In Feedback Behaviors in Dialog.

Plant, N., and Healey, P. G. (2012) The Use of Gesture to Communicate About Felt Experiences. In Proceedings of SemDial 2012 (SeineDial): The 16th Workshop on the Semantics and Pragmatics of Dialogue (p. 80).