Dr Alexander De Foe

Consciousness researcher

What are the determinants of human consciousness?

Dr Alexander De Foe is a lecturer of cognitive and developmental psychology in Melbourne, Australia. As an experimental psychologist, he has worked with several research and academic institutes over the past 10 years, including Monash University, the Australian College of Applied Psychology, and RMIT University.

Dr De Foe supervises numerous honours, masters, and doctoral students on the topics of multisensory integration, perceptual distortions, and frameworks that explain the phenomenological features of perception and consciousness.

Alex’s PhD research was based at Monash University on the use of predictive coding to best inform cognitive models of perception and consciousness. His studies into models of body-self representation have been published in leading international journals in neurophilosophy, cognitive science, and psychology.

Conceptual models of self

How do virtual environments change our sense of self and body awareness?

How we integrate a coherent sense of self remains one of the big mysteries in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Our internal models of body awareness that coordinate our sense of balance and orientation in space-time are governed by multiple top-down and bottom-up resources. However, recent work into perceptual illusions such as the rubber hand illusion and body transfer illusion has raised questions on the certainty with which we take for granted of our personal sense of spatial and temporal body awareness.

My current research examines the role of unconscious processing, visual perception, and the impact of altered states on self-body integration.