Karen Collins' research is diverse and interdisciplinary, but has always had a central focus: the interaction of humans and machines, specifically as related to sound. Her research is driven by the following questions: What does it mean to interact with sound? In what ways do people interact with sound? And, how does interactive sound change our association to, our involvement with, and our experience of media? Although her primary focus has been interactive sound in video games, she has also applied her theories and methods to mobile phones, computer interfaces, slot machines, and product design. Her research spans across the fields of music, audio engineering, acoustics, computer science (information retrieval, human-computer interaction), interaction design, sound design, film studies, cultural theory, game design/development, and areas of philosophy and psychology.