Dr Karina J Linnell

Staff details

Position Reader
Department Psychology
Email k.j.linnell (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7717 2906
Dr Karina J Linnell


Karina is a Reader in Psychology at Goldsmiths. She researches visual cognition, attention, perception, and awareness, and the shaping of these processes by experience, and aims to adopt a translational approach.
She has been privileged to study the profound differences in cognitive and perceptual style that exist between a remote, semi-nomadic Namibian population and their urbanised cousins.
She is fascinated by cross-cultural and individual differences - particularly those related to urbanisation, education, and socioeconomic status - and committed to the view that only by taking these differences into account will we acquire an informed understanding of human cognition and perception.

Grants and Awards

Karina has received external grant funding to support her research from a variety of bodies including: the ESRC, British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, and National Institute of Health Research (Research for Patient Benefit scheme).

Public Engagement and Knowledge Exchange

Karina’s work on the impact of urbanisation on our capacity to concentrate, and its implications for educational attainment, has attracted considerable media attention. She has been interviewed on international and national TV and radio (e.g., on BBC World News, BBC Radio 4) and her work has been cited in international and national newspapers (e.g. in the Guardian, by its Education Correspondent). Furthermore, she was selected by the ESRC national research council to prepare an impact case study on the implications of her work on processing style and urbanisation.

Research Interests

Karina’s research focuses on visual cognition, attention, perception, and awareness, and the shaping of these fundamental processes by experience. She is a member of the Cognition and Neuroscience Group, and the Developmental and Educational Science Group. She researches both mature and developing function, and normal and abnormal function, and aims to adopt a translational approach and thus to further the complementary development of theory and its application.

Some key areas of interest are listed below:

  • Selective Attention
  • Attentional Control
  • Attentional State
  • Arousal, Sustained Attention, and Performance
  • Attention, Emotion, and Effort
  • Pupillometry
  • Eye-movements
  • Visual Perception and Local-Global Bias
  • Urbanisation, Education, SES, and Processing Style
  • Cross-cultural and Individual Differences

Publications and research outputs

Book Section

Humphreys, Glyn W.; Riddoch, M. Jane; Linnell, Karina J; Punt, D.; Edwards, M. G. and Wing, Alan M.. 2004. Attending to what you are doing. Neuropsychological and experimental evidence for interactions between perception and action. In: Glyn W. Humphreys and M. Jane Riddoch, eds. Attention in action. New York and London: Psychology Press, pp. 3-25. ISBN 978-1-84169-354-5


Kiss, Luca and Linnell, Karina J. 2023. Making sense of background music listening habits: An arousal and task-complexity account. Psychology of Music, 51(1), pp. 89-106. ISSN 0305-7356

Kiss, Luca and Linnell, Karina J. 2021. The effect of preferred background music on task‐focus in sustained attention. Psychological Research, 85(6), pp. 2313-2325. ISSN 0340-0727

Florez, Estephania; Cohen, Keren; Ferenczi, Nelli; Linnell, Karina J; Lloyd, Joda; Goddard, Lorna; Kumashiro, Madoka and Freeman, Jonathan. 2020. Linking Recent Discrimination-Related Experiences and Wellbeing via Social Cohesion and Resilience. Journal of Positive School Psychology, 4(1), pp. 92-104. ISSN 2717-7564

Caparos, Serge; Linnell, Karina J and Blanchette, Isabelle. 2020. The local perceptual bias of a non-remote and educated population. Psychological Research, 84(5), pp. 1211-1222. ISSN 0340-0727

Ghahghaeinezamabadi, Saeideh and Linnell, Karina J. 2018. The effect of load on spatial attention depends on preview: Evidence from a reading study. Vision Research, 149, pp. 115-123. ISSN 0042-6989

Linnell, Karina J; Bremner, Andrew J.; Caparos, S.; Davidoff, Jules B. and De Fockert, J. W.. 2018. Urban experience alters lightness perception. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 44(1), pp. 2-6. ISSN 0096-1523

Bremner, Andrew J.; Doherty, Martin J.; Caparos, Serge; De Fockert, J. W.; Linnell, Karina J. and Davidoff, Jules B.. 2016. Effects of culture and the urban environment on the development of the Ebbinghaus illusion. Child Development, 87(3), pp. 962-981. ISSN 0009-3920

Mason, Luke; Linnell, Karina J; Davis, Robert and Van Velzen, Jose L.. 2015. Visual processing at goal and effector locations is dynamically enhanced during motor preparation. Neuroimage, 117, pp. 243-249. ISSN 1053-8119

Linnell, Karina J; Caparos, Serge and Davidoff, Jules B.. 2014. Urbanization increases left-bias in line-bisection: An expression of elevated levels of intrinsic alertness? Frontiers in Psychology, 5(1127), pp. 1-7. ISSN 1664-1078

Stagg, Steven; Linnell, Karina J and Heaton, Pam F.. 2014. Investigating eye movement patterns, language, and social ability in children with autism spectrum disorder. Development and Psychopathology, 26(2), pp. 529-537. ISSN 0954-5794

Linnell, Karina J; Caparos, Serge; De Fockert, J. W. and Davidoff, Jules B.. 2013. Urbanization decreases attentional engagement. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 39(5), pp. 1232-1247. ISSN 0096-1523

Watling, Rosamond; Danckert, James; Linnell, Karina J and Cocchini, Gianna. 2013. Extinction and Anti-extinction: The “Attentional Waiting” Hypothesis. Neuropsychology, 27(2), pp. 275-279. ISSN 0894-4105

Caparos, S.; Linnell, Karina J; Bremner, Andrew J.; De Fockert, J. W. and Davidoff, Jules B.. 2013. Do local and global perceptual biases tell us anything about local and global selective attention? Psychological Science, 24(2), pp. 206-212. ISSN 0956-7976

Caparos, S.; Ahmed, L.; Bremner, Andrew J.; De Fockert, J. W.; Linnell, Karina J and Davidoff, Jules B.. 2012. Exposure to an urban environment alters the local bias of a remote culture. Cognition, 122(1), pp. 80-85. ISSN 0010-0277

De Fockert, J. W.; Caparos, S.; Linnell, Karina J and Davidoff, Jules B.. 2011. Reduced Distractibility in a Remote Culture. PLoS ONE, 6(10), e26337. ISSN 1932-6203

Linnell, Karina J and Caparos, Serge. 2011. Perceptual and Cognitive Load Interact to Control the Spatial Focus of Attention. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 37(5), pp. 1643-1648. ISSN 0096-1523

Caparos, Serge and Linnell, Karina J. 2010. The Spatial Focus of Attention Is Controlled at Perceptual and Cognitive Levels. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 36(5), pp. 1080-1107. ISSN 0096-1523

Linnell, Karina J and Humphreys, G.. 2007. Top-down-driven grouping over-rules the central attentional bias. Journal of Experimental Psychology Human Perception and Performance, 33(3), pp. 530-548. ISSN 00961523

Linnell, Karina J; Humphreys, Glyn W.; McIntyre, Dave B.; Laitinen, Sauli and Wing, Alan M.. 2005. Action modulates object-based selection. Vision Research, 45, pp. 2268-2286. ISSN 0042-6989

Linnell, Karina J and Humphreys, G.. 2004. Attentional selection of a peripheral ring over-rules the central attentional bias. Perception and Psychophysics, 66(5), pp. 743-751. ISSN 00315117

Linnell, Karina J and Humphreys, Glyn W.. 2002. Visual search within and across dimensions: A case for within-dimension grouping. British Journal of Psychology, 93(1), pp. 115-135. ISSN 00071269

Linnell, Karina J and Foster, D.. 2002. Scene articulation: dependence of illuminant estimates on number of surfaces. Perception, 31(2), pp. 151-159. ISSN 03010066

Foster, David H.; Nascimento, Sérgio M. C.; Amano, Kinjiro; Arend, Larry; Linnell, Karina J; Nieves, Juan Luis; Plet, Sabrina and Foster, Jeffrey S.. 2001. Parallel detection of violations of color constancy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 98(14), pp. 8151-8156. ISSN 00278424

Linnell, Karina J and Humphreys, Glyn W.. 2001. Spatially parallel processing of within-dimension conjunctions. Perception, 30(1), pp. 49-60. ISSN 0301-0066