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Dr. Arryn  Robbins
Dr. Arryn Robbins
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Dr. Robbins is a cognitive psychologist whose research focuses on the interaction between the visual stream and representations in memory. Her recent research studies mental aspects of visual search. Important questions in her research include: How is attention guided through the environment during search for items we have never seen before? How do your unique experiences influence the way you look for items and information? Dr. Robbins also addresses research questions in applied domains of visual cognition. For example, she investigates approaches to improve search performance for professional searchers (e.g., radiologists, search-and-rescue teams, airport baggage screeners). Dr. Robbins utilizes technologies like eye-tracking and computational methods like machine learning for her research.

Dr. Robbins received a PhD in Experimental Psychology with a focus on cognition from New Mexico State University. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Carthage College. Prior to coming to the University of Richmond, Dr. Robbins worked as a research psychologist for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


Papesh, M. H., Hout, M. C., Pinto, J. D. G., Robbins, A., & Lopez, A. (2021). Eye movements reflect expertise development in hybrid search. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, 6(1), 1-20.

Robbins, A., & Hout, M. C. (2020). Typicality guides attention during categorical search, but not universally so. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 73(11), 1977-1999.

Wagner, E., Atkins, R. G., Berning, A., Robbins, A., Watson, C., & Anderle, J. (2020). Examination of the traffic safety environment during the second quarter of 2020: Special report (No. DOT HS 813 011). United States. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Office of Behavioral Safety Research.

Robbins, A., & Hout, M. C. (2020). Scene priming provides clues about target appearance that improve attentional guidance during categorical search. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 46(2), 220.

Coburn, A., Kardan, O., Kotabe, H., Steinberg, J., Hout, M. C., Robbins, A., ... & Berman, M. G. (2019). Psychological responses to natural patterns in architecture. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 62, 133-145.

Madrid, J., Cunningham, C. A., Robbins, A., & Hout, M. C. (2019). You’re looking for what? Comparing search for familiar, nameable objects to search for unfamiliar, novel objects. Visual Cognition, 27(1), 8-20.

Hout, M. C., Cunningham, C. A., Robbins, A., & MacDonald, J. (2018). Simulating the fidelity of data for large stimulus set sizes and variable dimension estimation in multidimensional scaling. SAGE Open, 8(2), 2158244018773143.

Hout, M. C., Robbins, A., Godwin, H. J., Fitzsimmons, G., & Scarince, C. (2017). Categorical templates are more useful when features are consistent: Evidence from eye movements during search for societally important vehicles. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 79(6), 1578-1592.

Madrid, J., Cunningham, C., Robbins, A., Godwin, H., Wolfe, J., & Hout, M. (2016). Exploring the nature of mental representations in hybrid visual and memory search. Journal of Vision, 16(12), 341-341.

Hout, M. C., Godwin, H. J., Fitzsimmons, G., Robbins, A., Menneer, T., & Goldinger, S. D. (2016). Using multidimensional scaling to quantify similarity in visual search and beyond. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics,78(1), 3-20.

Robbins, A., & Hout, M. C. (2015). Categorical target templates: Typical category members are found and identified quickly during word-cued search. Visual Cognition, 23(7), 817-821.

Ph.D., New Mexico State University
Experimental Psychology
B.A., Appalachian State University
Contact Information
102C Richmond Hall
(804) 289-8127
(804) 287-1905 (Fax)
Areas of Expertise
Visual Attention and Memory
Eye Movements During Search
Applied Cognition
Safety Behavior
Computational Methods