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Melina Kunar, BSc PhD (Associate Professor)

Melina Kunar



Many tasks involve attention making it an important focus of research (e.g. driving, searching for an app on a phone, 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).


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Representative Publications:

  • Gunnell, D., Kunar, M. A. Richards, R.H. and Watson, D. G. (In Press) Telephone Conversations Affect the Executive but not the Alerting or Orienting Network. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

  • Kunar, M.A. (2022). The optimal use of computer aided detection to find low prevalence cancers. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 7, 13.

  • Phelps, E.E., Wellings, R., Kunar, M.A., Hutchinson, C. & Griffiths, F. (2021). A qualitative study exploring the experience of viewing 3D medical images during an orthopaedic outpatient consultation from the perspective of patients, healthcare professionals and lay representatives. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 27 (2), 333-343

  • Kunar, M. A., Taylor-Phillips, S. & Watson, D.G. (2021). Double Reading Reduces Miss Errors in Low Prevalence Search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 27(1), 84–101 Link opens in a new window

  • Gunnell, D. O. A., Kunar, M. A., & Watson, D. G. (2020). Having a phone conversation delays but does not disrupt cognitive mechanisms. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 26(2), 199–217.

  • Gunnell, D., Kunar, M. A., Norman, D. and Watson, D. G. (2019) The hazards of perception : evaluating a change blindness demonstration within a real-world driver education course. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications. 4:15

  • Kunar, M. A., Cole, L., Cox, A. & Ocampo, J. (2018). It's Not Good to Talk: Conversation Has a Fixed Interference Cost on Attention Regardless of Difficulty. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 3:33

  • Kunar, M. A., Watson, D.G., Taylor-Phillips, S. & Wolska, J. (2017). Low Prevalence Search for Cancers in Mammograms: Evidence using Laboratory Experiments and Computer Aided Detection. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 23, 369-385.

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