Meera Mary Sunny

Associate Professor, Cognitive Science

Research Areas : Visual Attention, Attention Capture.

Email : m.m.sunny@iitgn.ac.in

My research is directed to better understand selective mechanisms in attention. In the past, I have studied the role of low-level factors in determining automatic selection by motion onset. Recently my research has focused more on the effects of body and action in the selection and on the temporal limits of attention.

Education

  • BA: Mahatma Gandhi University, 2005
  • MA: Allahabad University, 2007
  • PhD: University of Warwick, 2011

Professional and Teaching Experience

  • Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (Feb 2020 to Present)
  • Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (Feb 2012 to Feb 2020)

Research Work

PUBLICATIONS - JOURNALS

  • Thomas, T., & Sunny, M. M. (2020). Diminished distractor exclusion for magnocellular features near the hand. Experimental Brain Research, 1-1
  • Singh, D., & Sunny, M. M. (2020). Attention interacts with emotion to drive perceptual impairment of images in an RSVP task. Collabra: Psychology, 6(1).
  • George, N., & Sunny, M. M. (2019). Challenges to the modularity thesis under the Bayesian brain models. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 13.
  • Thomas, T., & Sunny, M. M. (2019). Situational Determinants of Hand-Proximity Effects. Collabra: Psychology, 5(1).

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

  • Sunny, M.M., Singh, S. & George, N., (2017). Target detection in a familiar configuration is modulated by the reliability of both contextual violation and target-to-context mapping. 4th Annual Conference on Cognitive Science (ACCS-2017). The University of Hyderabad. October 2017.
  • Chakrav, L. N., Singh, D., & Sunny, M. M. (2017). Using a modified Attentional Blink paradigm to study the scope of attention. 4th Annual Conference on Cognitive Science (ACCS-2017). The University of Hyderabad. October 2017.
  • Singh, D., & Sunny, M. M. (2017). The interplay of template matching and visual working memory in the emergence of Lag-1 sparing. 4th Annual Conference on Cognitive Science (ACCS-2017). The University of Hyderabad. October 2017.
  • Singh, D. & Sunny, M. M., (2017). Lag-1 sparing in the attentional blink: Role of stimulus feature and visual working memory in integrating two events in a single attentional episode., in the 4th International AttLis Workshop (AttLis-2017), BITS Pilani, Goa, IN, Mar. 3-4, 2017.
  • Thomas, T. & Sunny, M. M., (2017). Differential sensitivity to motion and colour singletons in the proximal region of the hand. in the 4th International AttLis Workshop (AttLis-2017), BITS Pilani, Goa, IN, Mar. 3-4, 2017.
  • Jagini, K. K. & Sunny, M. M., (2017). Role of action in modulating attentional mechanisms., in the 4th International AttLis Workshop (AttLis-2017), BITS Pilani, Goa, IN, Mar. 3-4, 2017.
  • Sunny, M. M. & Thomas, T., (2016). Hand Proximity Effect: Differential Sensitivity to Bottom-Up Salience. in the 3rd Annual Conference on Cognitive Science (ACCS-2016). IIT Gandhinagar. Gujarat, IN. October 2016.
  • Saksena, S.K., Thomas, T. & Sunny, M. M. (2016). Effect of Emotional Stimuli on Attentional Prioritization in the Peri-Hand Space. in the 3rd Annual Conference on Cognitive Science (ACCS-2016). IIT Gandhinagar. Gujarat, IN.October 2016.
  • Singh, D. & Sunny, M. M. (2016). Emotional disruption or attentional capture? Causing Impairment in Emotion-Induced Blindness. in the 3rd Annual Conference on Cognitive Science (ACCS-2016). IIT Gandhinagar. Gujarat, IN.October 2016.
  • Saxena, P., Sunny, M. M. and Mutha, P. (2016). Effect of Attention Capture by Abrupt Onset on Arm Movement. in the 3rd Annual Conference on Cognitive Science (ACCS-2016). IIT Gandhinagar. Gujarat, IN.October 2016.
  • Jagini, K. K. & Sunny, M. M., (2016). Role of Action in modulating attention capture. in the 3rd Annual Conference on Cognitive Science (ACCS-2016). IIT Gandhinagar. Gujarat, IN. October 2016.
  • Jagini, K. K., & Sunny, M. M., (2016). Role of action in modulating bottom-up attentional mechanisms. in the European Conference on Visual Perception, Barcelona, ES, Aug. 28- Sep. 1, 2016.
  • Yoxon, E., Sunny, M.M. & Welsh, T., (2016). There's something about offsets: Offset events cannot be associated with reaching movements., in the Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting, St. Pete Beach, Florida, US, May 13-18, 2016.
  • Zubair, H.M. & Sunny, M. M. (2015). Understanding parity: Is the odd-effect odd or even? The European Conference on Visual Perception 2015 (ECVP2015). University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  • Thomas, T. & Sunny, M. M. (2015). Hand proximity effect: The role of Space, Object and Disengagement. The European Conference on Visual Perception 2015 (ECVP2015). University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  • Sabu, S., Kumar, N. & Sunny, M. M. (2015). Attentional Blink is modulated by Response Selection at T1. The European Conference on Visual Perception 2015 (ECVP2015). University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  • George, N. & Sunny, M. M. (2015). Role of prediction error in selective attention. The European Conference on Visual Perception 2015 (ECVP2015). University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  • Singh, D. & Sunny, M. M. (2015). (No) Role of emotions in Emotion Induced Blindness. The European Conference on Visual Perception 2015 (ECVP2015). University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  • Sunny, M. M., Kumar, N. & Manjaly, J. A. (2015). Attention capture as a function of prediction error. The European Conference on Visual Perception 2015 (ECVP2015). University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  • Zubair, H.M. & Sunny, M.M. (2014) Differential Processing of Numbers in the Left and Right Hemisphere. The 24th Annual Convention of National Academy of PPsychology,Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, India.
  • Sunny, M. M., Kumar, N. & Manjaly, J. A. (2014) The Effect of Temporal Unpredictability of Action Outcome on Attention Capture. Jagiellonian-Rutgers Conference in Cognitive Science 2014. Kraków, Poland, June 25 – 29 June, 2014
  • Thomas, T. & Sunny, M. M. (2014), Hand Proximity Influences Attention Capture by a Feature Singleton. First Annual Conference on Cognitive Science (ACCS-2014), New Delhi, IN, Mar. 3-5, 2014. Poster No. 62.
  • Thomas, T., Kumar, N. & Sunny, M. M. (2013). The role of limb proximity in attentional prioritization. International Conference on Cognition Emotion and Action, Ahmedabad, India.
  • Sunny, M. M., Kumar, N. & Manjaly, J. A. (2013). The role of action on attention capture by feature singletons. International Conference on Cognition Emotion and Action, Ahmedabad, India.
  • Singh, D. and Sunny, M. M. (2013). Emotion-induced Blindness: A Review. International Conference on Cognition Emotion and Action, Ahmedabad, India.
  • Sunny, M.M. & von Muhlenen, A. (2012). When does motion onset capture attention? The role of motion flicker and abrupt displacement. 2012 April Meeting of the Experimental Psychology Society. Bristol, UK
  • Sunny, M.M. & von Muhlenen, A. (2011). Motion refresh rates determine how continuous and starting motion captures attention. 2011 Annual Meeting of the Vision Science Society, Florida, United States
  • von Muhlenen, A. & Sunny, M.M. (2010). The effect of motion onset and motion quality on attentional capture in visual search. 2010 Annual Meeting of the Vision Science Society, Florida, United States.
  • Sunny, M. M. & von Muhlenen, A. (2010). Performance Costs and Benefits for Simultaneous Dynamic Events in Visual Search. 2010 Annual Meeting of the Vision Science Society, Florida, United States.
  • Sunny, M. M. & von Muhlenen, A. (2009). Does the attention capture effect of moving stimuli depend on motion quality? 24th PsyPAG Conference, University of Cardiff, United Kingdom.
  • Sunny, M. M. & Manjaly, J. A. (2007). Does attention mediate the apparent continuity of consciousness? Quantum Mind 2007. Salzburg, Austria.
  • Sunny, M. M., Rimzhim, A. & Srinivasan, N. (2006). Is there a cerebral asymmetry in the semantic processing of living and non- living Concepts? Second International Conference on Cognitive Science. Allahabad, India.
  • Rimzhim, A., Sunny, M. M. & Srinivasan, N. (2006). Cerebral asymmetry in semantic decision making: Does the nature of the stimulus matter? International Conference on Advances in Neuroscience. Lucknow, India
  • Sunny, M.M. & & Srinivasan, N. (2006). Effect of set-size and duration on change detection with hierarchical stimuli. National Academy of Psychology Conference. IIT Bombay, India

PUBLISHED ABSTRACTS

  • Sunny, M. M., & von Mühlenen, A. (2011). Motion refresh rates determine how continuous and starting motion captures attention. Journal of Vision, 11(11), 86-86.
  • von Mühlenen, A. , & Sunny, M. M. (2010). The effect of motion onset and motion quality on attentional capture in visual search. Journal of Vision, 10(7), 117-117
  • Sunny, M. M., & von Mühlenen, A. (2010). Performance Costs and Benefits for Simultaneous Dynamic Events in Visual Search. Journal of Vision, 10(7), 1274-1274

Grants and awards

  • Prof. Nithin V. George (PI) and Meera Mary Sunny (Co PI). “Design of hearables with psychoacoustic integration.” Science and Engineering Research Board (2019-2022) Rs. 36,00,000
  • Meera Mary Sunny (PI), “Role of predictive mechanisms in Attention Capture by Action.” Cognitive Science Research Initiative, DST, Govt. of India (2015 -2018) Rs. 10,00,000 
  • Prof. Tim Welsh (home supervisor), Emma Yoxon (Exchange Student) and Meera Mary Sunny (host supervisor), “Effect of Action-Effect Association on Modulation of Attentional Capture in Aiming Movements”, Mitacs, Globalink (2015) 10,000 CAD
  • Uttama Lahiri (PI) and Meera Mary Sunny (Co-PI) "Intelligent Virtual Reality based Gaze-sensitive Social Communication System for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder" Department of Science and Technology – Cognitive Science Research Initiative (2013 -2016) Rs. 18,90,000.
  • Meera Mary Sunny (PI). “The role of expectancy in attention capture”. IITGn Sponsored Research Initiative, (2012 – 2015) Rs. 4,80,000.

Courses Taught

  • HS305 – Perspectives in psychology
  • CG607 – Emotion and Cognition
  • CG 603 – Perception and Attention
  • CG 503 – Fundamentals of Cognitive Psychology
  • CG504 – Research Methods in Cognitive Science

Supervision

PhD STUDENTS

LAB ALUMNI

PhD

M.Sc (Representative)

  • Lakshman N C
  • Vinaya Hari
  • Ruhi Bhanup
  • Sreekanth C