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Dr James Munro

Profile summary

Professional biography

Dr James Munro graduated in 2011 with a BSc (hons) in Psychology from the University of Abertay, Dundee. In 2012 he started his PhD in cognitive neuroscience at the University of Roehampton, London. His PhD studies involved an investigation into a controversial system in the brain called the mirror neuron system, using functional MRI. He subsequently carried on his work with MRI, exploring the role of anxiety in decision making, memory and other cognitive factors and neural correlates. James submitted his PhD in December 2015 and graduated with his PhD in January 2017. His training in cognitive neuroscience methods gave him a significant technical skillset which he put to use developed a career as a senior technician in Psychology. In the past 4 years, James has worked alongside colleagues in applying decision making literature to forensic and legal environments. He has actively published several papers in this area. In his career he has published in media-outlets (e.g. The Conversation), won science communication awards (e.g. I'm a Scientist, Get Me out of Here!), engaged with international knowledge trading (e.g. Erasmus+ staff exchange) and supported the development of academic technicians (via Higher Education and Technician's Educational Development). James began worked for the Open University in August 2020 and is working hard to contribute positively to teaching and research.


Research interests

I am currently interesting in exploring the different sources of bias that, eventually, converge on jury or other forms of decision making. I am enthusiastic about supporting research which requires technical support to become feasible, and in a supporting role I have very broad interests.

Teaching interests

As a lead technician, I am incredibly enthusiastic about supporting teaching in Psychology with the development and teaching of appropriate new technology and software. I have a strong teaching background in research methods, cognitive and neuropsychology.

Impact and engagement

Media articles

1)  Curley, L.J., & Munro, J. (2019). CSI: current research into the impact of bias on crime scene forensics is limited – but psychologists can help. The Conversation. Retrieved from:

2) Article regarding winning I'm a Scientist Get me out of Here!

3) Scottish lawyers want to keep not proven verdict:


Invited talks and public engagement

1) Scottish Institute for Policing Research (2020)

2) I'm a Scientist, Get me out of Here! (2019)

3) Castlebrae High School outreach (2019 - 2020)

4) Open University Forensic Cognition Research Group (2020)


Double jeopardy: The effects of retrial knowledge on juror decisions (2024)
Munro, James; Motson, Fred; Frumkin, Lara; Turner, Jim and Curley, Lee
Journal of Criminal Psychology ((In press))

Proven and not proven: A potential alternative to the current Scottish verdict system (2022-07-19)
Curley, Lee John; Munro, James; Turner, Jim; Frumkin, Lara A.; Jackson, Elaine and Lages, Martin
Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 40(3) (pp. 452-466)

Verdict spotting: Investigating the effects of juror bias, evidence anchors, and verdict system in jurors (2022)
Curley, Lee; Murray, Jennifer; MacLean, Rory; Munro, James; Lages, Martin; Frumkin, Lara; Laybourn, Phyllis and Brown, David
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 29(3) (pp. 323-344)

Cognitive and human factors in legal layperson decision making: Sources of bias in juror decision making (2022)
Curley, Lee J.; Munro, James and Dror, Itiel E.
Medicine, Science and the Law, 62(3) (pp. 206-215)

Informing Reform: The views of legal professionals on the unique aspects of Scottish Law (2021)
Curley, Lee; Munro, James; Frumkin, Lara and Turner, Jim
Medicine, Science and the Law, 61(4) (pp. 256-265)

Assessing cognitive bias in forensic decisions: A review and outlook (2020-03)
Curley, Lee J.; Munro, James; Lages, Martin; MacLean, Rory and Murray, Jennifer
Journal of Forensic Sciences, 65(2) (pp. 354-360)

Authors' Response: Is the definition of task-irrelevant contextual information black and white? (2020)
Curley, Lee J.; Munro, James; Lages, Martin; MacLean, Rory and Murray, Jennifer
Journal of Forensic Sciences, 65(2) (pp. 668-670)

An inconvenient truth: More rigorous and ecologically valid research is needed to properly understand cognitive bias in forensic decisions (2020)
Curley, Lee J.; Munro, James and Lages, Martin
Forensic Science International: Synergy, 2 (pp. 107-109)

Author Response: No need for throwing stones – Wherever you live… (2020)
Curley, Lee John; Munro, James and Lages, Martin
Forensic Science International: Synergy, 2 (pp. 705-707)

Altered relationship between prefrontal glutamate and activation during cognitive control in people with high trait anxiety (2019-08)
Morgenroth, Elenor; Orlov, Natasza; Lythgoe, David J.; Stone, James M.; Barker, Holly; Munro, James; Eysenck, Michael and Allen, Paul
Cortex, 117 (pp. 53-63)

Worry is associated with inefficient functional activity and connectivity in prefrontal and cingulate cortices during emotional interference (2018-12-26)
Barker, Holly; Munro, James; Orlov, Natasza; Morgenroth, Elenor; Moser, Jason; Eysenck, Michael W. and Allen, Paul
Brain and Behavior, 8, Article e01137(12)