Dr Vanessa Beanland


Vanessa’s primary research interest is understanding how individuals detect and use informational cues in their visual environment. Some examples include examining how drivers detect potential hazards, or what information pedestrians use when deciding whether it is safe to cross an intersection.

An overarching aim of Vanessa’s current research is to understand the mechanisms that differentiate successful versus unsuccessful detection of targets and identifying strategies that can minimise performance errors without compromising search efficiency. This research employs diverse methods, from highly-controlled lab experiments using abstract geometric shapes as stimuli, to studies of driver attention in simulators and instrumented vehicles.

In addition to this primary work on road users’ visual information processing, Vanessa has also conducted research on a range of other road safety issues including driver training and motorcycle safety.

Selected recent publications:

Beanland, V., & Chan, E. H. C. (in press). The relationship between sustained inattentional blindness and working memory capacity. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. doi: 10.3758/s13414-015-1027-x

Beanland, V., Le, R. K., & Byrne, J. E. M. (in press). Object-scene relationships vary the magnitude of target prevalence effects in visual search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance. doi: 10.1037/xhp0000183

Beanland, V., Lenné, M. G., Salmon, P. M., & Stanton, N. A. (in press). Variability in decision-making and critical cue use by different road users at rail level crossings. Ergonomics. doi: 10.1080/00140139.2015.1095356

Horwood, S., & Beanland, V. (in press). Inattentional blindness in older adults: Effects of attentional set and to-be-ignored distractors. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics. doi: 10.3758/s13414-015-1057-4

Top cited publications:

Beanland, V., Fitzharris, M., Young, K. L., & Lenné, M. G. (2013). Driver inattention and driver distraction in serious casualty crashes: Data from the Australian National Crash In-depth Study. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 54, 99-107. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2012.12.043

Beanland, V., Goode, N., Salmon, P. M., & Lenné, M. G. (2013). Is there a case for driver training? A review of the efficacy of pre- and post-licence driver training. Safety Science, 51(1), 127-137. doi: 10.1016/j.ssci.2012.06.021

Beanland, V., & Pammer, K. (2010). Looking without seeing or seeing without looking? Eye movements in sustained inattentional blindness. Vision Research, 50(10), 977-988. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2010.02.024

Beanland, V., Allen, R. A., & Pammer, K. (2011). Attending to music decreases inattentional blindness. Consciousness and Cognition, 20(4), 1282-1292. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2011.04.009