The scientific study of mind, consciousness, and perception

Hi, I’m Alex, a cognitive scientist based in Melbourne, Australia. This is my personal blog, which includes some articles, draft ideas, and thoughts, mostly on the determinants of human perception and consciousness – my main research interests.

My research and writing interest centres on how perceptual cues are integrated in the mind and brain. I completed my honours degree, master’s degree, and PhD in counselling and psychology at Monash University throughout 2010 to 2016, specialising in these topics. Since then, I have held posts at numerous academic institutes as a researcher and teaching fellow. At present, I am an Industry Fellow at RMIT’s School of Health and Biomedical Sciences. I’ve listed some of the major projects I’ve commenced below for those interested:

Centre for Exceptional Human Potential

Centre for Exceptional Human Potential, founded by Dr Alexander De Foe in 2014 in Berwick, Melbourne, Australia

I started the Centre for Exceptional Human Potential (CEHP) in 2014 to advance the study into altered states of consciousness involving heightened or expanded perception. Since its inception, the CEHP team has formed strong international links with numerous associations in the fields of Transpersonal Psychology, Parapsychology, and Consciousness Studies, including organisations in the United States, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.

Currently CEHP is working with the International Academy of Consciousness to explore the role that memory plays in realistic out-of-body experiences (OBEs).

Transpersonal Inner Work Group at CEHP

Each month I convene a free community meet-up group (online) called the Transpersonal Inner Work group. The TIW group focuses on topics related to transpersonal psychology and expanded states of consciousness. It builds on the tradition in psychology related to the introspective exploration of inner states, perhaps best summed up by what Eleanor H. Rosch called William James’ “mystic germ”.

Each month we informally cover topics related to peak states, transpersonal self, trance work, and other practices based on exploring altered states of consciousness and perception. You can send me an e-mail request to join the group here

Veridical Mind Project

How is perception unique during OBEs?

As part of my post-doctoral research, I have won over $20,000 in funding from national and international parapsychology research organisations to study the nature of perception in autoscopy and out-of-body experiences (OBEs). This work builds heavily on the findings of my honours and PhD research.

Due to the in-depth and qualitative nature of this research, VM continues to be one of the major projects I am working on. Recently, I have taken a specific interest in the nature of long-term memories related to transcendental OBEs, as well as the role of perceptual adaption in veridical (i.e., reflective of physical reality) OBEs. For books and publications related to the VM project click here