Prof Kristen Pammer

Undergraduate Advisor
Associate Director Psychology (Education)
Associate Dean Science (Teaching and Learning)
Building 39, Room 124 and Peter Baume Building, Room 2.09
 612 52293



BSc (Hons) PhD


Research interests

My primary research interest is in the brain mechanisms involved when we read, and how they might be different for people who cannot read - who are dyslexic. What is involved here is unclear, dyslexia is fundamentally a difficulty in phonics, yet we repeatedly demonstrate that children and adults with dyslexia have concomitant visual and auditory processing difficulties. I am interested in using the spatio-temporal capabilities of MEG to look at the time course of information flow through the brain when we read or engage in the skills necessary for reading, such as audio-visual integration. Along these lines, I am also interested in early attentional processing and interactions between the dorsal and ventral visual pathways. Again using psychophysics and neuroimaging, I am interested in the role of the dorsal visual stream in mediating visual responses. I am also currently conducting research into inattentional blindness and attentional blink.

I am also interested in attention and driving. Particularly in the context of how and why we see some hazards and miss others. I am also interested in distraction and driving. I currently hold an ARC Linkage grant with Dr’s Beanland and Bell, together with the NRMA Road Safety Trust, Ambulance ACT and Victoria Ambulance Service to look at vision, attention and driving in expert drivers

I am also interested in the neural mechanisms involved in synaesthesia, and how an understanding of synaesthesia might contribute to our understanding of the interactions between different neural populations. One way in which different parts of the brain communicate may be through the use of different oscillatory signatures; therefore I am also interested in event-related synchronisation and desychronisation of populations of cells in the cortex as a mechanism of neural interaction.

I have worked at the the University of Newcastle, UK, and MEG labs at the Helsinki University of Technology , Aston University in the UK and the RIKEN institute in Japan.


ARC Linkage 2013: Attention and hazard perception while driving: How experts see the scene.

NRMA ACT Road Safety Trust: Understanding looked but failed to see accidents:the role of inattentional blindness.

Teaching Enchancement Grant: Evaluating Best Practice and the Development of a Working Model of Peer-Review of Teaching.

Lord Dowding Trust: Detailing Temporal Cortical Dynamics in Directed Visual Attention Using Magnetoencephalography


Teaching awards

  • Top Supervisor Award, 2010
  • Australian Awards for University Teaching: Citation for outstanding contributions to student learning, 2009
  • Student's Association Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2008


Pammer, K., Bairnsfather, J., Burns, J. & Hellsing, A. Not all hazards are created equal: The significance of hazards in inattentional blindness for static driving scenes. Applied Cognitive Psychology. In press

            Pammer, K. Driven to Distraction: Exploring the role of healthy distraction on driver performance. Australasian College of Road Safety Journal. In press

Beanland, V., Pammer, K., Sledziowski, M. & Stone, A. Drivers' attitudes and knowledge regarding motorcycle lane filtering practices immediately preceding the Australian Capital Territory lane filtering trial. Australasian College of Road Safety Journal. In press

Allen, R. & Pammer, K. The Impact of Concurrent Noise on Visual Search in Children with ADHD. Attention. In press


Pammer, K., Korell, H. & Bell, J. (2015). Visual distraction increases the detection of an unexpected object in inattentional blindness. Visual Cognition, 22, 1173-1183. [B]

Pammer, K. Temporal sampling in vision and the implications for dyslexia. (2014). Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7,. (8) (4) [A]

Pammer, K. (2014). Brain Mechanisms and reading remediation: More questions than answers. Scientifica, 2014, 1-9.

Metcalf, O., & Pammer, K. (2014). Impulsivity and related neuropsychological features in regular and addictive first person shooter gaming. Cyberpsychology Behaviour and Social networking, 17, 147-152. (2) [B]

Fiveash, A., & Pammer, K (2014) Music and language: Do they draw on Similar Syntactic Working Memory Resources? The Psychology of Music, 42, 190-209 DOI: 10.1177/0305735612463949. (2) [A]

Metcalf, O., & Pammer, K. (2013). Sub-types of gaming addiction: Physiological arousal deficits in addicted gamers differ based on preferred genre. European Addiction Research, 20, 23-32. (4) (2) [C]

Flint, S., & Pammer, K. (2013). Principles of Test development in Papua New Guinea. IACCP. Proceedings of the 20th International Association for Cross Cultural Psychology

Vanags, T., Pammer, K. Brinker, J. (2013). Process-oriented guided-inquiry learning improves long-term retention of information. Advances in Physiology Education, 37, 233-241. (2) (1) [B]

Pammer, K., & Blink, C. (2013) Attentional differences in driving judgments for country and city scenes: Semantic congruency in Inattentional Blindness. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 50, 955-963 (2) (1) [A*]

Metcalf, O., & Pammer, K. (2013) Investigating Markers of Behavioural Addiction in Excessive Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Gamers. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 6(3), 11

Beanland, V., & Pammer, K. (2012). Minds on the blink: The relationship between inattentional blindness and attentional blink. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 74, 322-330. (6) (2) [A]

Pammer, K. (2011). The role of the dorsal pathway in word recognition. In Visual Aspects of Dyslexia. J. Stein and Z. Kapoula. Oxford University Press

Metcalf, O., & Pammer, K. (2011). Attentional Bias in Excessive Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Gamers Using a Modified Stroop Task. Computers in Human Behavior, 27, 1942-1947. (12) (3) [B]

Beanland, V., Allen, R., & Pammer, K. (2011). Attending to music decreases inattentional blindness. Consciousness and Cognition, 20, 1282-1292. (11) (6) [A]

Beanland, V., & Pammer, K. (2010). Gorilla watching: Effects of exposure and expectations on inattentional blindness. In W. Christensen, E. Schier, & J. Sutton (Eds.), ASCS09: Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the Australasian Society for Cognitive Science. Sydney: Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science. (4)

Beanland, V & Pammer, K. (2010). Looking without seeing or seeing without looking? Eyemovements in sustained inattentional blindness. Vision Research, 50, 977-988. (13) (8) [B]

Vidyasagar, T.R. & Pammer, K. (2010). Letter-order encoding is both bottom-up and top-down. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(6), 238-239. (3) (2) [A*]

Vidyasagar, T.R. & Pammer, K. (2010). Dyslexia: a deficit in visuo-spatial attention, not in phonological processing. Trends in Cognitive Science, 14(2), 57-63. (113) (203). [A*]

Pammer K (2009). Features are fundamental in word recognition. In The Neural Basis for Reading, (Cornelissen, Hansen, Pugh, Eds). Oxford University Press

Pammer, K., Connell, E., & Kevan, A. (2009). Reading and spelling: Using visual sensitivity to explore separate or dual orthographic mechanisms. Perception, 39, 387-406. (5) (2) [A]

Kevan, A., Pammer, K. (2009). Predicting early reading skills from pre-reading measures of dorsal stream functioning. Neuropsychologia, 47, 3174-3181. (36) (23) [A]

Pammer, K., (2009). What can MEG neuroimaging tell us about reading? Journal of NeuroLinguistics, 22, 266-280. (9) (5) [B]

Kevan, A., & Pammer, K. (2008). Visual processing deficits in preliterate children at familial risk for dyslexia. Vision Research, 48, 2835-2839. (36) [B]

Kevan, A., & Pammer, K. (2008). Making the link between dorsal stream sensitivity and reading. Neuroreport, 19(4), 467-470. (20) (13) [B]

Pammer, K., & Kevan, A. (2007). The contribution of visual sensitivity, phonological processing, and nonverbal IQ to children's reading. Scientific Studies of Reading, 11, 33-53. (32) (8) [A]

Kujala, J., Pammer, K., Cornelissen, P., Roebroeck, A., Formisano, E., & Salmelin R. (2007). Phase coupling in a cerebro-cerebellar network at 8-13 hz during reading. Cerebral Cortex, 17, 1476-1485. (89) (50) [A*]

Pammer, K., Hansen, P., Holliday, I., Cornelissen, P. (2006). Attentional shifting and the role of the dorsal pathway in visual word recognition.  Neuropsychologia, 44, 2926-2936. (42) (35) [A]

Pammer, K., & Vidyasagar, TR. (2005) Integration of the visual and auditory networks in dyslexia: a theoretical perspective. Journal of Research in Reading, 28, 320-331. (55) (30) [A]

Pammer, K. What’s in a name? (2005) Special Education Perspectives, 14, 3-7 [C]

Pammer, K., Lavis, R., Cooper., Hansen, P., & Cornelissen, P. (2005) Symbol string sensitivity and adult performance in lexical decision. Brain and Language, 94, 278-296. (74) (54) [A]

Pammer, K., Lavis,R., Hansen, P.,Cornelissen, P (2004). Symbol string sensitivity and children’s reading. Brain and Language, 89, 601-610. (27) (8) [A]

Pammer, K., Hansen, P., Kringelbach, M., Holliday., I Barnes, G., Hillebrand, A., Singh, K., Cornelissen, P (2004). Visual word recognition: the first half second. Neuroimage, 22, 1819-1825. (150) (93) [A]

Pammer, K., Lavis, R., & Cornelissen, P. (2004).Visual encoding mechanisms and their relationship to text presentation preference.  Dyslexia, 10, 77-94. (13) (10) [B]

Pammer, K. (2002). Dyslexia. Encyclopaedia of Life Sciences. Nature: Macmillan Press

Pammer, K. & Wheatley, C (2001). Isolating the M(y)-cell response in dyslexia using the spatial frequency doubling illusion. Vision Research, 16, 2139-2147. (55) (35) [B]

Pammer, K., & Lovegrove, W. (2000). The influence of colour on transient system activity: Implications for dyslexia research. Perception and Psychophysics, 63(3), 490-500. (21) (12) [A]

Vidyasagar, T, R., & Pammer, K. (1999). Impaired visual search in dyslexia relates to the role of the magnocellular pathway in attention. NeuroReport, 10, 1283-88. (155) (101) [B]

Avons, S., Wright, K., & Pammer, K. (1994). The word-length effect in probed and serial recall. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology – Human Experimental Psychology. 47 A(1) 207-231. (127) (57) [A*]

Updated:  28 March 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RSP/Page Contact:  Web Admin, RSP