Peter Walla

Peter Walla
Sigmund Freud University Vienna | SFU · Department of Psychology

Full Professor; PhD + 2 postdoctoral degrees

About

128
Publications
41,595
Reads
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3,069
Citations
Introduction
My most important statements: a) The brain knows much more than it admits to our consciousness b) Affective processing guides behavior and emotions communicate feelings c) If my brain could only speak!
Additional affiliations
September 2020 - present
Sigmund Freud University Vienna
Position
  • Professor (Full)
Description
  • My aim is to bring a bit of Psychology to Medicine and a bit of Medicine to Psychology. I teach and do reserarch in the field of Neuroscience. My focus is on non-conscious affective and cognitive information processing and I am using various neuroscience tools such as EEG and startle reflex modulation to compare self-report with objective data. The brain knows more than it admits to consciousness and with objective measures I get access to that knowledge.
September 2014 - present
Webster University Vienna
Position
  • Head of Department
November 2009 - August 2014
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Position
  • Full Professor and Head of Neuroscience and Functional neuroimaging
Education
October 1998 - October 2004
Medical University of Vienna
Field of study
  • Cognitive Neurobiology
October 1993 - June 1998
University of Vienna
Field of study
  • Brain Imaging and human memory functions
October 1987 - June 1993
University of Vienna
Field of study
  • Zoology and Neurophysiology

Publications

Publications (128)
Chapter
Full-text available
Literally, Neuroimaging gives us deeper insight into the brain’s function. But, what actually is its function? The brain is an organ, almost just as our lungs and hearts. The big difference is that we can see the imprints of evolutionary progressions in its organization. Although the stamp of evolution is clearly imprinted in the genes that govern...
Chapter
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Like most researchers from other disciplines the NeuroIS community too faces the problem of interchangeable terminology regarding emotion-related aspects of their work. This article aims at solving this issue by clearly distinguishing between emotion, feeling and affective processing and by offering clear definitions. Numerous prior attempts to agr...
Article
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On the 10th anniversary of the NeuroIS field, we reflect on accomplishments but, more importantly, on the future of the field. This commentary presents our thoughts on a future NeuroIS research agenda with the potential for high impact societal contributions. Four key areas for future information systems (IS) research are: (1) IS design, (2) IS use...
Article
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The present electroencephalography (EEG) study observed how the brain processes visual stimuli (words and shapes) displayed with four different duration times (17 ms, 33 ms, 67 ms, and 100 ms). All stimuli had to be classified into “I saw nothing”, “I saw a blur”, “I saw a word,” or “I saw a shape” via distinct button presses while brain potentials...
Chapter
This electroencephalography (EEG) study provides significant neu-rophysiological evidence for the processing of words outside conscious aware-ness. Brain potentials were recorded while 25 participants were presented with words and shapes, each of them with 17, 34, and 67ms presentation duration times (“no presentation” was included as control condi...
Chapter
The present chapter outlines how selected psychophysiological methods can help to study affective processing in brand co-creation. As a basis for further methodological suggestions, emotions and affective processing are discussed from an evolutionary perspective. Moreover, the chapter provides an overview of which methods in contemporary consumer n...
Article
Full-text available
The self is an increasingly central topic in current neuroscience. Understanding the neural processes that are involved in self-referential processing and functioning may also be crucial to understanding consciousness. The current short communication goes beyond the typical concept that the self is singular, as has been assumed from neuroanatomical...
Article
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It remains an unsolved conundrum how social presence affects the neural processes involved in adaptive situation-specific decision-making mechanisms. To investigate this question, brain potential changes via electroencephalography (EEG) and skin conductance responses (SCR) were taken within this study, while participants were exposed to pre-rated p...
Article
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Recognising our own and others emotions is vital for healthy social development. The aim of the current study was to determine how emotions related to the self or to an other influence be-havioural expressions of emotion. Facial electromyography (EMG) was used to record sponta-neous facial muscle activity for nineteen participants while they passiv...
Article
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The aim of this study was to investigate how a female face is perceived in terms of its attractiveness, dominance, health, femininity-masculinity, and maturity in direct relation to the body fat percentage (BFP) conveyed by the face. To compare how young adults (ages 18 to 35) respond to different levels of body fat percentage both subjectively and...
Chapter
Full-text available
These authors contributed equally to this work. According to Abrams and Ziegler (2016), the field of psychology is profoundly affected by a number of global social concerns, including environmental, migration, and global health issues; this calls for increased cultural sensitivity and understanding among psychology professionals. Such a disciplinar...
Chapter
Full-text available
This within-subjects study investigated the effect of small enclosed spaces on human brain activation during a simple word encoding task. A small and movable wooden box was designed, inside of which participants were exposed to visually presented words while asked to decide whether or not the first and last letters of each word were in alphabetical...
Article
Full-text available
As we are often inundated with images of violence and pornography in modern times with the aid of mobile devices and unrestricted online access and content, the non-conscious effect of such exposure is an area of concern. To date, many clinicians and researchers in behavioral sciences rely on conscious responses from their clients to determine affe...
Conference Paper
Numerous studies have shown that different body postures and positions can differently influence one’s physiology, motivation and emotion processes, and behavioral and cognitive performances. The varying level of autonomic activation in various body positions may explain the differing level of arousal in supine (Lay), seated (Sit), and standing (St...
Article
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Increased violence and aggressive tendencies are a problem in much of the world and are often symptomatic of many other neurological and psychiatric conditions. Among clinicians, current methods of diagnosis of problem aggressive behaviour rely heavily on the use of self-report measures as described by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Menta...
Presentation
Full-text available
This presentation was used for a talk given by Peter Walla at the Brainstorms Festival 2019 in Vienna.
Article
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In the present study, using both implicit and explicit measures, we addressed the issue of whether strongly developed relationships towards brands could be modified through the use of evaluative conditioning. Using an online survey, individual participant brand lists were created, and formed the basis of this experiment. Participants were then expo...
Chapter
The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is a promising tool to assess implicit attitudes. Next to neuroscientific methods applied within the field of Neu-roIS the IAT helps to overcome limits of traditional approaches, such as self-report studies. Introduced 20 years ago, it has been developed further within subsequent years. However, hardly any attent...
Article
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This Special Issue about sub- and unconscious information processing in the human brain finally became a collection of 6 accepted contributions, 2 articles, 2 reviews, 1 opinion and 1 concept paper. Even though more papers were submitted this rather small number of accepted contributions mirrors the still existing lack of focus on non-conscious hum...
Chapter
Traditional market research used to focus on survey-based investigations. The first generation of Neuromarketing focused on Brain Imaging via functional Magnet Resonance Imaging (fMRI), which allowed for a true insight into brain activities with accurate localisation results. Finally, the new generation of Neuromarketing provides valuable informati...
Article
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Increased pornography use has been a feature of contemporary human society, with technological advances allowing for high speed internet and relative ease of access via a multitude of wireless devices. Does increased pornography exposure alter general emotion processing? Research in the area of pornography use is heavily reliant on conscious self-r...
Article
Evaluative conditioning (EC) effects on established liked and disliked brands were measured via self report, startle reflex modulation (SRM), heart rate (HR), skin conductance (SC), and the Implicit Association Test (IAT). Baseline measures were compared with measures taken after 1, 6, and 16 conditioning procedures. The aim was to determine how th...
Article
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There is little knowledge about the attitudes toward unconventional options among psychology students. The present study aimed to investigate different factors that may take part in influencing their attitudes toward expressive therapies. The study focused on gender and nationality differences, the relationship between attitude, knowledge, and beha...
Article
Full-text available
Consumers’ attitudes towards established brands were tested using implicit and explicit measures. In particular, late positive potential (LPP) effects were assessed as an implicit physiological measure of motivational significance. The implicit Association Test (IAT) was used as an implicit behavioural measure of valence-related aspects (affective...
Article
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It is not too late, but about time to realize how damaging IT overuse can be. The present paper discusses why it is of tremendous importance to study the effect of the Internet, smartphone, and other new digital technologies on individuals’ productivity and well-being. Besides its recognized addictive nature, it also becomes clear that such technol...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Introduction: There have been many concerns made about the non-conscious impact of exposure to violence and pornography. In our modern society where access to these stimuli is ubiquitous, the desire to investigate whether these concerns are apt is paramount. In the present Electroencephalography (EEG) study, baseline brain activity measures related...
Article
Full-text available
Evolution provided us with the important feature of affective information processing, which is designed to detect potentially harmful and appetitive sources in a dynamic environment. Transferred into the modern world of consumption research, we are interested in studying this particular approach versus avoidance behavior. We call it affective infor...
Article
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In the current study, electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded simultaneously with facial lectromyography (fEMG) to determine whether emotional faces and emotional scenes are processed differently at the neural level. In addition, it was investigated whether these differences can be observed at the behavioural level via spontaneous facial muscle a...
Article
Full-text available
In the current study, electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded simultaneously with facial electromyography (fEMG) to determine whether emotional faces and emotional scenes are processed differently at the neural level. In addition, it was investigated whether these differences can be observed at the behavioural level via spontaneous facial muscle...
Chapter
Full-text available
This first-of-its-kind reference moves the concepts and methodologies of game analytics and learning analytics into the emerging field of serious games. The book calls for more validated and standardized research into serious games analytics, backing up this demand with ways that player data can be transformed into information of value to the acade...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Emotion is a widely used term in various different fields. The problem is that across and even within those fields scholars are not sharing a common understanding of it. This strongly counterproductive situation hinders ongoing progress and might even lead to false understandings. This conceptual paper offers a solution and also introduces a method...
Article
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Medically unexplained symptoms (MUS) or functional neurological symptoms (FNS) are commonly seen in the medical and rehabilitation settings. Clinicians often tend to describe patients with MUS as the “most difficult to help”. This practical review discusses epidemiology, clinical presentations, assessment and diagnosis of these psychiatric and neur...
Article
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Recent electroencephalography (EEG) studies accumulated evidence that support a dynamic view of the self (multiple aspect theory). In this study, we test the specific hypothesis of the multiple aspect theory of the self by using EEG data from the HisMine paradigm. In the HisMine paradigm German pronouns are visually presented in a stream of additio...
Article
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In my role as editor in chief I want to take the chance to say a few words on behalf of the entire SCIRP team. The current times and trends within the world of academia are exciting. During the last few years various pub-lishers followed the Open Access model, which I myself have found a great step forward since day one of its existence. Science is...
Article
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Climate change, the need for efficient and environment-friendly energy use and health-related issues like obesity and addictions, these three crucial topics build a triad that the global society has extensively been discussing and caring about during the past decades. First, according to the recently published fifth IPCC climate change assessment r...
Article
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Language has long been considered as independent from emotions such as if the information conveyed by words would be mentally represented in an abstract, propositional format. Research of the last few years however accumulated empirical evidence against this theoretical belief, the purely cognitive-based foundation of language. In particular, via r...
Article
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Assuming that the human mind indeed consists of a non-conscious and a conscious part it makes sense to believe that consciousness at times may struggle to get access to non-conscious content, which seems rather logical. At the same time most of us are aware that affective processing un-derlying our emotions happens non-consciously due to limbic act...
Conference Paper
Background: The relationship between emotion and self-awareness has rarely been addressed in neuroscience despite the potential clinical relevance of this knowledge. So far, existing studies have investigated this relationship using pronouns combined with emotion words such as ‘my fear’. These EEG studies have revealed that the interaction between...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background: As researchers and clinicians are becoming more aware that many of our thought processes and behaviours occur beneath conscious awareness, the need to acquire methods to gain a better and more thorough understanding of unconscious emotional processes becomes more important. Researchers and clinicians in the behavioural sciences currentl...
Conference Paper
As companies and researchers strive to better understand consumer behaviour, the need to employ more comprehensive and accurate measures is emphasised. Given that the majority of our behaviour is driven by processes operating below the level of consciousness (Calvert & Brammer, 2012), it is assumed that measures assessing non-conscious activity may...
Conference Paper
Background: The ability to recognise our own and others emotions has become a fundamental aspect of current emotion research, with focus having been on either the neural correlates or the behavioural correlates. The aim of the current study was to combine these approaches to determine how Self- versus Other-referential information influences the ‘i...
Conference Paper
Aims: Recognising our own and others emotions is vital for healthy social development. The aim of the current study was to determine how the brain integrates Self and Other emotion ownership concepts, and how the integration of this information influences behavioural expressions of emotion. Method: EEG was used to record changes in neural activity...
Conference Paper
Aims: This study was designed to test the hypothesis that impulsivity and compulsivity are associated with different brain activity patterns when financial decisions have to be made. Method: Via using a selected set of surveys we first grouped a sample of non-clinical volunteers into compulsive and impulsive and then we invited them to our laborato...
Conference Paper
Aims: The relationship between emotion and self-awareness has rarely been addressed in neuroscience despite the potential clinical relevance of this knowledge. So far, existing studies using pronouns combined with emotion words such as ‘my fear’ have revealed that the interaction between emotion and self-other awareness develops hierarchically acro...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To propose startle reflex modulation (SRM) as an objective measure of emotions of children with profound multiple disabilities (PMD). Knowledge about emotion states of children with PMD is crucial to their individualised care and support. Proxy reporting, observational and physiological measures of emotion are reported in the literature...
Data
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Copyright © 2013 Aimee Mavratzakis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Com-mons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, pro-vided the original work is properly cited. Previous investigations using pictures to elicit an emotional response have shown that the...
Article
Full-text available
Copyright © 2013 Aimee Mavratzakis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Com-mons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, pro-vided the original work is properly cited. Previous investigations using pictures to elicit an emotional response have shown that the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Emotions are generated and modulated by many factors in the ever-changing surrounding environment. A new and challenging task is to emulate emotional responses on a robot that are caused by visual stimuli, such that the robot's responses mirror that of the human user. This paper presents the initial stage of an affective system that has been traine...
Article
Full-text available
This study is based on the idea that emotion-related processing happens on various different levels. Common methods that are used to measure different aspects of emotion-related processing exhibit spe-cific sensitivities to one or the other of these separate processing levels. Here, the hypothesis was tested that explicit and implicit measures of e...
Article
Dendritic spines are the major site of excitatory synaptic input to pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus. The activity-dependent changes in the structure of spine structure have been clearly related to learning and memory processes. Actin is known to regulate cell shape and motility and in mature neurons is highly concentrated within dendritic spin...
Article
Aims: In this study we hypothesized that impulsivity and compulsivity are associated with different brain activity patterns when financial decisions have to be made. Method: Via using a selected set of surveys we first grouped a sample of non-clinical volunteers into compulsive and impulsive and then we invited them to our laboratory in order to co...
Article
The mechanism of the Dakin-West reaction has been thoroughly investigated by monitoring the reaction using ESI-MS/MS techniques in combination with M06-2X/6-311++G(d,p) calculations. Several of the key intermediates in the previously proposed "azlactone" mechanism have been experimentally detected and characterized. In particular, interception of t...
Article
A ring-expanded derivative (II) of ursolic acid and the corresponding fragmentation product (III) are obtained by the Beckmann rearrangement of ursolic acid derivative (I).
Article
Full-text available
Does a bottle elicit a gender-specific emotion response that varies as a function of its shape? The answer to this question is of basic interest as well as of specific interest to the industry. We intro-duced startle reflex modulation to objectively measure emotion-related aspects of different bottles. This approach was chosen to complete behaviour...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Over the last two decades, scholars in information systems and consumer research have started to successfully apply methods from neuroscience to research questions on emotional aspects related to IS or consumption behavior. However, there is still a lack of understanding regarding which particular facets of emotion can actually be measured by the v...
Conference Paper
Obviously, emotional faces and scenes are highly effective for triggering affective processing that leads to emotions, which is why both stimuli are heavily used in emotion research (Walla & Panksepp, 2012). However, little distinction is made regarding the qualitivative differences in emotion elicited by these different forms of stimuli. Does it m...
Conference Paper
Beyond spoken words, social encounters involve covert non-verbal spontaneous communications including facial mimicry. Spontaneous facial mimicry has been implicated in healthy social functioning and emotion recognition ability, and is thought to do so via a process of emotion embodiment – the ‘offline’ reactivation of sensory and motor systems invo...
Article
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Abstract: Analyzing eye movements has had a long tradition in various scientific disciplines, serving different purposes. In psychology, observations of the eye movements in reading date back to the end of the 19 th century. In business research, applications are a more recent phenomenon and mostly confined to studies in marketing. Tracking the eye...
Article
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Previous studies were able to demonstrate different verbally stated affective responses to environments. In the present study we used objective measures of emotion. We examined startle reflex modulation as well as changes in heart rate and skin conductance while subjects virtually walked through six different areas of urban Paris using the StreetVi...