the embodied self in the Cartesian Theatre

Alex De Foe - Cognitive Scientist

I’m a writer and a scholar interested in altered states of consciousness. My current work centres on biological models of social cognition with a Jungian bent. I'm also interested in pharmacopeia and how it can inform our understanding of the structure of consciousness. My PhD research was based on Cartesian models of embodiment and I have had over 10 years of experience in the fields of developmental and cognitive psychology.

Research groups


Current projects:

  • Moral Emergence: Modelling free energy within the moral developmental lens
  • Parapsychology as perception: Modeling psi phenomena in an entropic brain
  • Emergence and Entheogen: Are time/space distortions in DMT 'contagious' with social cognition cross-cuing effects?

We are a team of early career researchers based around Australia – Canberra @ ANU / Melbourne @ Monash/MelbUni and Brisbane @ UQ

Co-director – More detail forthcoming

Member – Predominantly involved in the psychedelic phenomenology mapping project


Insta: @defoepsych

About me

My psychological training was at Monash University from 2011-2016 which included an honours dissertation and PhD thesis on Cartesian explanations for the embodied self. I conducted four different experiments that culminated in about four outputs at reputable publications. My postdoctoral work centred on VR-mediated perceptions at RMIT University's mental health and VR laboratory – which I co-founded in 2017. My broad interest is in the application of social neuroscience to strive towards a better understanding of the embodied mind in everyday life.

Practice Credentials: MACA Counsellor / NLP Coach / Narrative Practice Practitioner

  • Postdoctoral programme completed in Psychology at RMIT University – industry fellowship in 2019
  • PhD in Psychology at Monash University in 2016
  • Master's in Counselling at Monash University in 2010