Dr Alexandre Schaefer
Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine & Health Sciences
Tel: +603 5515 9603
Office: Room 3-2-04
ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0864-9384
Dr Alexandre Schaefer has been a researcher in psychology and cognitive neuroscience for 20 years. He is currently an associate professor at Monash University since 2013, and he previously worked for the universities of Durham and Leeds (UK), Washington University and Yale University (US), and the University of Louvain (Belgium). So far, his research has been funded by the UK’s research councils (BBSRC and ESRC), the Belgian national fund for scientific research (FNRS), the Nuffield foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Malaysia’s Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) and the Malaysian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI).
He is currently interested in how poverty affects cognitive and emotional functions, with a particular focus on populations from developing countries. More generally, he is also interested in the study of human emotions and their interactions with cognitive processes. He has used multiple research methods, including field studies but also laboratory studies using neuroimaging (fMRI and PET), psychophysiological (EEG/ERP) and classical behavioural techniques.
Dr Schaefer has taught both in the Department of Psychology (e.g. PSYC2061 Biological Psychology) and in the MBA programme of the School of Business (MBA 5730 Critical Thinking and Problem-solving).
Bsc and MA in Psychology (Louvain), BA in Philosophy (Louvain), PhD in Psychology (Louvain)
Fellow of the British Higher Education Academy
Research / Education Interests
Understanding the psychological effects of poverty in developing countries
It is well-known that poverty affects the development of cognitive abilities and emotional functions. However, little is known about HOW do economic inequalities affect these psychological processes, and very little research is available from populations in developing countries where these issues are more pressing. I am currently running a series of field studies in different parts of South-East Asia, in which my team is trying to find what mediates the link between poverty and a series of cognitive and emotional functions. In Malaysia, we are testing participants from the SouthEast Asia Community Observatory (SEACO, in collaboration with Daniel Reidpath and Pascale Allotey), and in Indonesia, I am working in Collaboration with Fandy Tjiptono (Monash University, School of Business), and Sony Kusumasondjaja (Universitas Airlangga, in Surabaya, Indonesia).
Wolkow, A.P.; Rajaratnam, S.M.W.; Wilkinson, V., Shee, D.; Baker, A.; Lillington, T.; Roest, P.; Chew, C.; Tucker, A.; Haque, S.; Schaefer, A. & Howard, M. (2020, In Press). The impact of heart rate-based drowsiness monitoring on adverse driving events in heavy vehicle drivers under naturalistic conditions. Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation.
Yong, MH; Lim, XL & Schaefer, A. (2020). How do Asians perceive Caucasian eyes? Electrophysiological correlates of perceiving racial differences from the eyes region of the face. Neuroscience Letters, 134759. DOI:10.1016/j.neulet.2020.134759
Mushtaq, F., McDougle, S.D., Craddock, M. P.; Parvin, D.E.; Brookes, J., Schaefer, A.; Mon-Williams, M.; Taylor, J.A.; & Ivry, R.B. (2019). Distinct processing of selection and execution errors in neural signatures of outcome monitoring. bioRχiv, DOI: 10.1101/853317 (Preprint)
Vermeulen, N., Pleyers, G.; Mermillod, M.; Corneille, O.; Schaefer, A. (2019). Desperately Seeking Friends: How Expectation of Punishment Modulates Attention to Angry and Happy Faces. Visual Cognition, 27:5-8, 649-656, DOI:10.1080/13506285.2019.1676351
Goto, N.; Lim, X.L.; Shee, D.; Khong KW; Hatano, A.; Buratto, L.G.; Watabe, M.; & Schaefer, A. (2019). Can brain waves really tell if a product will be purchased? Inferring consumer preferences from single-item brain potentials. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience. 13:19. doi: 10.3389/fnint.2019.00019
Barnacle, G.E.; Tsivilis, D.; Schaefer, A. & Talmi, D. (2018). Local context influences memory for emotional stimuli but not electrophysiological markers of emotion-dependent attention. Psychophysiology, DOI: 10.1111/psyp.13014.
Goto*, N. & Schaefer, A. (2018). Emotional Intensity. In Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. V. Zeigler-Hill, T.K. Shackelford (eds.). Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_509-1.
Goto*, N.; Mushtaq, F. Shee, D.; & Lim, X.L.; Mortazavi, M.; Watabe, M.; & Schaefer, A. (2017). Neural signals of selective attention are modulated by subjective preferences and buying decisions in a virtual shopping task. Biological Psychology, 128, 11-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2017.06.004.
Mushtaq*, F.; Wilkie, R.M.; Mon-Williams, M.A. & Schaefer, A. (2016). Randomised Prior Feedback Modulates Neural Signals of Outcome Monitoring. Neuroimage, 125, 868-879.
Schaefer, A.; Buratto, L.G.; Goto, N. & Brotherhood, E.V. (2016). The Feedback-Related Negativity and the P300 brain potential are sensitive to price expectation violations in a virtual shopping task. PLOS One, 11(9): e0163150. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0163150.
Nascimento, J., Buratto, L.G., Schaefer, A. & Stein, L.M (2016). Emotional valence and perceived event frequency affect memory accuracy for a personally relevant life event. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 30: 1020-1029.
Yick* Y.Y.; Buratto*, L.G. & Schaefer, A. (2016). Variations in prestimulus brain activity predict the emotion-enhanced memory effect. Neuroreport, 27 (11), 864-868. DOI: 10.1097/WNR.0000000000000628.
Mushtaq*, F.; Guillen, P.P.; Wilkie, R.M.; Mon-Williams, M.A. & Schaefer, A. (2016). Feedback-related potentials in a gambling task with randomised reward, Data in Brief , 6, 378-385. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2015.11.060
Yick* Y.Y.; Buratto*, L.G. & Schaefer, A. (2015). The effects of negative emotion on encoding-related neural activity predicting item and source recognition. Neuropsychologia, 73, 48-59.
Watts*, S; Buratto*, L.G.; Brotherhood*, E.V.; Barnacle, G.E. & Schaefer, A. (2014). The neural fate of neutral information in emotion-enhanced memory. Psychophysiology, 51 (7), 673-684.
Buratto*, L.G.; Pottage*, C.L.; Morrison, C.M., Brown, C. & Schaefer, A. (2014). The effects of a distracting N-back task on recognition memory are reduced by negative emotional intensity. PLOS One, 9(10): e110211.
Allen, R.J.; Schaefer, A. & Falcon, T. (2014). Recollecting positive and negative autobiographical memories disrupts working memory. Acta Psychologica. 151, 237-243.
Duffin, E.; Bland, A.R.; Schaefer, A. and De Kamps, M. (2014). Differential effects of reward and punishment in decision making under uncertainty: a computational study. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 8:30.
O’Connor D.B., Walker, S., Talbot, D.; Hendrickx, H. & Schaefer, A. (2013). Stress-related thinking predicts the cortisol awakening response and somatic symptoms in healthy adults. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 38 (3), 438-446.
Mushtaq*, F., Stoet, G., Bland*, A.R.& Schaefer, A. (2013). Relative changes from prior reward contingencies can constrain brain correlates of outcome monitoring. PLOS One 8(6): e66350.
Pottage*, C.L. & Schaefer, A. (2012). Visual attention and emotional memory: Recall of aversive pictures is partially mediated by concurrent task performance. Emotion, 12(1), 33-38.
Bland*, A. R. & Schaefer, A. (2012). Different varieties of uncertainty in human decision-making. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 6:85.
Schaefer, A.; Pottage, C.L. & Rickart, A.J., (2011). Electrophysiological correlates of remembering emotional pictures. Neuroimage, 54, 714-724.
King*, R. & Schaefer, A. (2011). The emotional startle effect is disrupted by a concurrent working memory task. Psychophysiology, 48 , 269-276.
Mushtaq*, F.; Bland*, A. R. & Schaefer, A. (2011). Uncertainty and Cognitive Control. Frontiers in Psychology 2:249.
Bland*, A. R. & Schaefer, A. (2011). Electrophysiological correlates of decision making under varying levels of uncertainty. Brain Research, 1417, 55-66.
Walker*, S., O’Connor D.B., Schaefer, A. (2011). Brain potentials to emotional pictures are modulated by alexithymia during emotion regulation. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neurosciences, 11, 463-475.
Walker*, S., O’Connor D.B., Schaefer, A., Talbot, D. & Hendrickx, H. (2011). The Cortisol Awakening Response: Associations with trait anxiety and stress reactivity. Personality and Individual differences , 51, 123-127.
Mermillod, M.; Droit-Volet, S.; Devaux, D.; Schaefer, A. & Vermeulen, N. (2010) Are coarse scales sufficient for fast detection of visual threat? Psychological Science,21: 1429-1437
Brown, C. & Schaefer, A. (2010). The effects of conformity on recognition judgments for emotional stimuli. Acta Psychologica. 133, 38-44
Schaefer, A.; Nils, F.; Sanchez, X. & Philippot, P. (2010). Assessing the effectiveness of a large database of emotion-eliciting films: A new tool for emotion researchers. Cognition and Emotion. 24(7), 1153-1172
Schaefer A.; Fletcher, K.; Pottage, C.; Alexander, K. & Brown, C. (2009). The effects of emotional intensity on ERP correlates of recognition memory. Neuroreport, 20 (3), 319-324.
Schaefer, A. (2008). La contribution de la neuroimagerie fonctionnelle a l’étude des émotions humaines. In S. Campanella & E. Streel (Eds.) Psychopathologie et Neurosciences: Questions actuelles de neurosciences cognitives et affectives. Brussels: De Boeck.
Fales, C. L.; Barch, D.M. Burgess, G. C.; Schaefer, A. Mennin, D.S. A.; Braver, T.S. , & Gray, J.R. (2008). Anxiety and cognitive efficiency: Differential modulation of transient and sustained neural activity during a working memory task. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 8, 239-253.
Schaefer, A. & Gray, J.R. (2007). A role for the human amygdala in higher cognition. Reviews in the Neurosciences, 18(5), 355-364.
Schaefer, A.; Braver, T.S.; Reynolds, J. R.; Burgess, G.C.; Yarkoni, T.; & Gray, J.R. (2006). Individual differences in amygdala activity predict response speed during working memory. Journal of Neuroscience, 26(40): 10120-10128.
Gray, J.R.; Burgess, G. C.; Schaefer, A.; Yarkoni, T.; Larsen, R.J. & Braver, T.S. (2005). Affective personality differences in neural processing efficiency confirmed using fMRI. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 5(2), 182-190.
Gray, J.R.; Schaefer, A.; Braver, T.S. & Most, S. (2005). Emotion and control dilemmas. In Emotion: Conscious and unconscious. L. Feldman Barrett, P. Niedenthal, & P. Winkielman (Eds.), pp. 67-96 New York: Guilford.
Schaefer, A. & Philippot, P. (2005). Selective effects of emotion on the phenomenal characteristics of autobiographical memories. Memory, 13 (2), 148-160.
Schaefer, A., Collette, F., Philippot, P., Vanderlinden, M., Laureys, S., Delfiore, G., Degueldre, C., Maquet, P., Luxen, A. & Salmon, E. (2003). Neural correlates of "hot" and "cold" emotional processing: A multilevel approach to the functional anatomy of emotions. Neuroimage, 18, 938-949.
Philippot, P., Schaefer, A. & Herbette, G. (2003). Consequences of specific processing of emotional information: Impact of general versus specific autobiographical memory priming on emotion elicitation. Emotion. 3, 270-283.
Philippot, P. & Schaefer, A. (2001). Emotion and memory. In T.J. Mayne & G.A. Bonanno (Eds.) Emotion: current issues and future directions. (pp. 82-122). NY: Guilford
Philippot, P.; Deplus, S.; Schaefer, A. & Falise, F. (2001). Le travail émotionnel en psychothérapie: application du modèle bi-mnésique des émotions au traitement des pathologies des émotions. Revue Francophone de Clinique Comportementale et Cognitive,6 , 5-18.
Madeira, M.J.P.; Wainer, R.; Erwig, L.R.P. & Schaefer, A. (1997). Modelos interativos de categorização difusa multidimensional: construção do software e testagem do instrumento. Temas em Psicologia, 1, 93-119.
Schaefer, A.; Yong, MH.; Phillips, L.; Van Reekum, C., Jentzsch, I. et al (2020-2024). Modulating neural markers of age-related decline in cognitive function: A longitudinal approach. Awarded amount: MYR 1,200,000. This project is part of a larger multi-site programme: Yong, M.H., Schaefer, A.; Khairudin, R.; Zarei, A.; Ling, LW. (2020-2024). Successful ageing: Evidence-based interventions to delay ageing-related decline. Long-Term Research Grant (LRGS), Malaysian Ministry of Education. MYR 2,400,000, LRGS/1/2019/SYUC//1.
Yong, M.H.; Schaefer, A.; Aguilera, J.C.K., Khairudin, R. et al. (2019-2021). The adult neuroplasticity model: Age-related decline in executive function. Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education. RM 100,200.
Phillips, L.; Min, Y.M. ; Schaefer, A. (2018-2020). Social cognition and executive function among older adults in the UK and Malaysia: links to socio-economic factors. Research Councils UK (RCUK), Newton Fund. £128,461 (~175,000 USD, ~700,000 MYR). Grant ID: 331745333 .
Ayub, Q.; Pei Lee, T.; Schaefer, A. et al. Aging and Urban Mobility in Bandar Sunway: A holistic approach. Monash University Malaysia Sustainable Community Grant Scheme. 250,000 MYR.
Kallavally, V.; Tan, CP; Haque, S.; Schaefer, A. (2018-2020). Context-aware human-centric smart lighting system. Industry grant, Itramas Corporation Sdn. Bhd. 256,533 MYR.
Rajaratnam, SW; Haque, S.; Schaefer, A.; Wolkow, A.P. et al. (2016-2018). Industry grant, Shell Research, AUD 40,000.
Tan, C.P., Kalavally, V.; Parkkinen, J. ; Haque, S. ; Schaefer, A; Anura Siri, D.; Lacey, D. & Kok Eng, N. (2015-2018). “Quality of Light - Impact of Visual and Non-Visual Effects” CREST R&D grant, Joint grant from the Malaysian Ministry of Science and Technology and OSRAM (Germany), REF: P20C1-15. RM442,000; USD 112,000 .
Schaefer, A.; Reidpath, D. ; Poon, W.C.; Watabe, M.; Goto, N. (2016-2018). Unveiling the cognitive determinants of economic well-being in rural Malaysia. “Monash Malaysia Strategic Large Grant.” RM 194,000.
Khairudin, R.; Perera, H.; Salehuddin, K. & Schaefer, A. (2018-2020). Brain and Poverty: Identifying The Neural Activity Of Decision-Making in low-income individuals. Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, "Cabaran Perdana" fund. MYR 71,400.
Watabe, M.; Singh, I.; Schaefer, A.; Shogo, M.; Chew, YT; Goto, N. (2017-2019). Trust and Cooperation in a Diverse Society. Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education. RM57,200.
Min, YM; Schaefer, A.; Ruffman, KA; Khairudin, R. & Marsh, N. (2016-2018). Empathic concern in young infants and older adults. Fundamental Research Grant Scheme, Malaysian Ministry of Education, RM61,000.
Haque, S., Schaefer, A., Shimul, A.M. & Conway, M.A. (2016-2018). Generational identity and autobiographical narratives of Bangladesh independence war veterans. Monash University GA 21 platform, RM20,000.
Sen A.; Selvartnam, L.; Schaefer, A. & Naing, I. (2016-2018). Neurobehavioral Impact of 3D Interactive Augmented Reality Learning Objects from Cadaveric Morphology. Monash “Better Teaching Better Learning” Education grant. RM44,000.
Poon, W.C.; Schaefer, A.; Watabe, M.; Habibullah, M. (2015-2017). The effects of socioeconomic status on cognitive brain function among young Malaysian adults. Fundamental Research Grant Scheme, Malaysian Ministry of Education, RM82,000.
Schaefer, A.; Poon, W.C.; Watabe, M.; Goto, N. (2015-2016). The effects of poverty on cognitive performance in a sample of Malaysian young adults. Socio-Economic Transformation Platform (SETA) grant. RM20,000.
Schaefer, A. (2014-2015). Electrophysiological correlates of purchasing decisions in a virtual shopping environment. Socio-Economic Transformation Platform (SETA) grant. RM10,000
Chew, Y.T. Schaefer, A. ; & Goto, N. (2016-2017). Effects of Socioeconomic status and delay discounting on purchasing activity: An EEG study. Monash School of Business seed grant. RM10,000
Schaefer, A. (2010-2013). An electrophysiological investigation of emotion-enhanced recollection. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). £385,359 (~ U$600,000). REF: BB/H001476, United Kingdom.
Schaefer, A. & Rickart, A. (2009). The role of attentional mechanisms in the formation of emotional memories: an electrophysiological approach. Nuffield Foundation(URB/36655), United Kingdom.
Schaefer, A. & Mushtaq, F. (2008). “The effect of emotional arousal on memory trace formation: an electrophysiological approach”. Nuffield foundation (URB # 35397), United Kingdom.
Schaefer, A. & Pottage, C. (2007). “Electrophysiological investigations of emotional memories”. Nuffield foundation (URB # 34116), United Kingdom.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC, UK).Funding for a PhD studentship (1+3) 2007-2011 (student: Amy Bland), ~£70,000 (U$120,000).
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC, UK).Funding for a PhD studentship (1+3) 2006-2010 (student: Rosemary King), ~£70,000 (U$120,000).
National Institute of Health (NIH): Postdoctoral research funding at Yale University and Washington Univ. of St. Louis, 2003-2006.
Schaefer, A. (1998-2002). Effets d'un traitement schématique ou propositionnel de l'information émotionnelle: Une mise à l'épreuve de deux modèles cognitifs des émotions. Doctoral Fellowship, Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS) et Fonds Spéciaux de Recherche (FSR), Belgium (€70,000).
Faisal Mushtaq (Leeds University)
Successful completion in 2012
Claire Pottage (Leeds University)
Successful completion in 2012
Amy Bland (Leeds University)
Successful completion in 2012 (ESRC)
Rosemary King (Leeds University)
Successful completion in 2009. (ESRC)
Sarah Walker (Leeds University)
Successful completion in 2010
Sarah Watts (Durham University)
Successful completion in 2015.
Nazool Tabassum (Durham University)
Successful completion in 2016.
Eugene Wei Lim-Hsiung (Monash University, FRGS)
Co-supervision with Prof. Poon Wai Ching
Khadeeja Munawar (Monash University)
Co-supervision with Prof. S. Haque
Joo Pin Loh (Monash University)
Co-supervision with Prof. Watabe
Hiran Perera (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia)
Co-supervision with Prof. Khairudin
Sumit Surendran Pillai (Monash University)
Co-supervision with Fandy Tjiptono
Chan Jee Kei (Monash University)
Co-supervision with Shamsul Haque)