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Melina Kunar Research Profile

Job Title
Associate Professor
Research Interests

Many tasks involve attention making it an important focus of research (e.g. driving, medical screening). My research investigates how people pay attention to their environment and how they use this information to inform preferences and decision making. The findings have many applications for health, economic and socially important tasks, such as how to improve search for cancers in medical images, baggage screening for threats at airports, human interaction with technology/Artificial Intelligence, road safety and how distraction interferes with driving (for example, by talking on mobile phones).


Dr Melina Kunar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick. Dr Kunar completed her PhD at the University of Birmingham before being awarded a Fellowship to work at the University of Bangor. She then went to Harvard Medical School, USA, to complete a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship where she investigated the mechanisms people use to pay attention to the visual world. Dr Kunar is an expert in visual attention and her current research examines how people perform different applied visual tasks such as searching medical images for cancers and baggage screeners searching for potential threats at airports. She has also been researching how distraction, such as talking on mobile phones, interferes with attention and driving. She has worked with driver education programs, police training forces and Local Authorities to educate road users about the importance of paying attention to the road and to minimise distraction while driving.

Title Funder Award start Award end
EPS Small Grant:The Optimal Presentation of Computer Aided Detection in Low Prevalence Mammogram Search Experimental Psychology Society - EPS 07 Jan 2019 06 Jan 2020
Does double reading reduce miss errors of cancerous masses in simulated mammograms? Experimental Psychology Society - EPS 03 Nov 2015 02 Nov 2016
Do visual cues help or hinder decisions regarding the presence or absence of cancer indicators in simulated mammograms? British Academy 31 Aug 2013 31 Aug 2015
Improving breast cancer detection rates through understanding and modelling the patterns of radiologist performance Breast Cancer Campaign 01 Oct 2011 30 Sep 2014