Brain & Behavior Laboratory

Annett ProfilePhoto



Ph.D. in Cognitive Neuroscience 2002 University of Leipzig, Germany
Diplom in Psychology 1999 University of Leipzig, Germany



Professional Experience

2017 - present Full Professor, Department of Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
2009 - 2016 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore
2006 - 2009 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, National University of Singapore
2005 - 2006 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, USA
2002 - 2005 Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Germany



Annett Schirmer authored a textbook on emotions. The book presents classical and modern emotion theories and reviews relevant insights from behavioral, physiological, and neuroscientific research in human and non-human animals. The book is available here. Sage Publications, Inc. ISBN: 9781452226255.


Research Publications


Schirmer, A., Ng, T., & Ebstein, R. (in press). Vicarious social touch biases gazing at faces and facial emotions. Emotion.

Sen, A., Isaacowitz, D., & Schirmer, A. (in press). Age differences in vocal emotion perception: On the role of speaker age and listener sex. Cognition & Emotion. 10.1080/02699931.2017.1393399.

Schirmer, A. & Gunter, T.C. (2017). The right touch: Stroking of CT-innervated skin promotes vocal emotion processing. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience. doi: 10.3758/s13415-017-0537-5.

Schirmer, A. & Gunter, T.C. (2017). Temporal signatures of processing voiceness and emotion in sound. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neurosciences, 12, 902-909.

Schirmer, A. & Adolphs, R. (2017). Emotion perception from face, voice and touch: Comparison and Convergence. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 21, 216-228.

Liu, S., Vanderhasselt, M.-A., Zhou, J., Schirmer, A. (2016). Better not to know: Emotion regulation fails to benefit from affective cuing. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 25.

Schirmer, A., Meck, W.H., Penney, T.B. (2016). The socio-temporal brain: Connecting people in time. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 20, 760-772.

Brauer, J., Xiao, Y., Poulain, T., Friederici, A.D., & Schirmer, A. (2016). Frequency of maternal touch predicts resting activity and connectivity of the developing social brain. Cerebral Cortex, 26, 3544-52.

Reece, C.E., Ebstein, R., Cheng, X., Ng, T., & Schirmer, A. (2016). Data set demonstrating an absence of touch effects on social orienting in adults. Data in Brief, 8, 904-909.

Reece, C.E., Ebstein, R., Cheng, X., Ng, T., & Schirmer, A. (2016). Maternal touch predicts social orienting in young children. Cognitive Development, 39, 128-140.

Schirmer, A. (2016). Editorial of the Special Issue on Emotion and Time Time Perception: In the Heat of the Moment. Timing & Time Perception, 4, 1-6.

Schirmer, A., Ng., T., Escoffier, N., & Penney, T.B. (2016). Emotional voices distort time: behavioral and neural correlates. Timing & Time Perception, 4, 79-98.

Schirmer, A., Escoffier, N., Cheng, X., Feng, Y., & Penney, T. B. (2016). Detecting temporal change in dynamic sounds: on the role of stimulus duration, speed, and emotion. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 2055.

Schirmer, A., Wijaya, M., Liu, S. (2016). The Midas effect – How somatosensory impressions shape affect and other-concern. In: Affective Touch and the Neurophysiology of CT-afferents. H. Olausson, J. Wessberg, I., Morrison, F. McGlone (Eds.) Springer.

Swee, G. & Schirmer, A. (2015). On the Importance of Being Vocal: Saying “Ow” Improves Pain Tolerance. The Journal of Pain, 16, 326-334.

Escoffier, N., Herrmann, C.S., & Schirmer, A. (2015). Auditory rhythms entrain visual processes in the human brain: Evidence from evoked oscillations and event-related potentials. NeuroImage, 111, 267-276.

Schirmer, A., Reece, C., Zhao, C., Ng, E., Wu, E., & Yen, S.-C. (2015). Reach out to one and you reach out to many: Social touch affects third party observers. British Journal of Psychology, 106, 107-32.

Schirmer, A. (2013). Sex differences in emotion. In: Handbook of Human Affective Neuroscience. J. Armony & P. Vuilleumier (Eds.) Oxford University Press, 591-610.

Schirmer, A., Jesuthasan, S., & Mathuru, A. (2013). Tactile stimulation reduces fear in fish. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 7:167.

Schirmer, A., Penney, T.B., & Seow, C.S. (2013). Humans process dog and human facial expressions in similar ways. PLOS One, 8, e74591.

Escoffier, N., Zhong, J., Schirmer, A., & Qiu, A. (2013). Emotions in voice and music: same code, same effect? Human Brain Mapping, 34, 1796-1810.

Ferdenzi, C., Delplanque, S., Barbosa, P., Court, K., Guinard, J.-X., Guo, T., Roberts, S.C., Schirmer, A., Porcherot, C., Cayeux, I., Sander, D., Grandjean, D. (2013). Affective semantic space of scents. Towards a universal scale to measure odor-related feelings. Food Quality and Preference, 30, 128-138.

Schirmer, A. Chen, C.-B., Ching, A., Tan, L., & Hong, R.Y. (2013). Vocal emotions influence verbal memory: Neural correlates and inter-individual differences. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 13, 80-93.

Ferdenzi, C., Roberts, C., Schirmer, A., Delplanque, S., Porcherot-Lassallette, C., Cayeux, I., Velazco, M.-I., Sander, D., Scherer, K.R., & Grandjean, D. (2013). Variability of Affective Responses to Odors: Culture, Gender and Olfactory Knowledge. Chemical Senses, 38, 175-186.

Schirmer, A., Fox, M., & Grandjean, D. (2012). On the spatial organization of sound processing in the human temporal lobe: A meta-analysis. Neuroimage, 63, 137-147.

Schirmer, A., Soh, Y.H., Penney, T.B., & Wyse, L. (2011). Perceptual and conceptual priming of environmental sounds. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 3241-53.

Ferdenzi, C., Schirmer, A., Roberts, C., Delplanque, S., Porcherot-Lassallette, C., Cayeux, I., Velazco, M.-I., Sander, D., Scherer, K.R., & Grandjean, D. (2011). Affective dimensions of odor perception: A comparison between Swiss, British and Singaporean populations. Emotion, 11, 1168-81.

Schirmer, A. (2011). How emotions change time. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 5:58.

Lui, M.A., Penney, T.B., & Schirmer, A. (2011). Emotion effects on timing: Attention versus pacemaker accounts. PloS One, e21829.

Min, C.S. & Schirmer, A. (2011). Perceiving verbal and vocal emotions in a second language. Cognition and Emotion, 25, 1376-92.

Schirmer, A., Vijayakumar, R., Teh, K.S., Nithianantham, D., Escoffier, N., & Cheok, A.D. (2011). Squeeze me, but don’t tease me: Human and mechanical touch enhance visual attention and emotion discrimination. Social Neuroscience, 6, 219-30.

Escoffier, N., Yeo, D.J.S., & Schirmer, A. (2010). Unattended musical beats enhance visual processing. Acta Psychologica, 135, 12-16.

Schirmer, A. (2010). Mark my words: Tone of voice changes affective word representations in memory. PLoS One, e9080.

Schirmer, A. & Escoffier, N. (2010). Emotional MMN: Anxiety and heart rate correlate with the ERP signature for auditory change detection. Clinical Neurophysiology, 121, 53-59.

Schirmer, A. & Li, Q. (2009). Electrophysiological correlates of vocal emotional processing in male and female listeners. In: Linguistic Insights 97. M. Gotti (Ed.) Peter Lang Publishing Group: Bern, 193-210.

Schirmer, A., Escoffier, N., Li, Q.Y., Li, H., Strafford-Wilson, J., & Li, W.-I. (2008). What grabs his attention but not hers? Estrogen correlates with neurophysiological measures of vocal change detection. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 33, 718-727.

Schirmer, A., Escoffier, N., Zysset, S., Koester, D., Striano, T., & Friederici, A.D. (2008). When vocal processing gets emotional: On the role of social orientation in relevance detection by the human amygdala. NeuroImage, 40, 1402-1410.

Schirmer, A., Escoffier, N., & Friederici, A.D. (2008). Out of the spotlight: Neurophsyiological mechanisms underlying the perception of unattended vocal expressions. In: Proceedings of the 4th Speech Prosody Conference, Campinas, Brazil, 211-216.

Schirmer, A. & Simpson, E. (2008). Brain correlates of vocal emotional processing in men and women. In: Emotions in the Human Voice (Volume 1, Foundations). K. Izdebski (Ed.) Plural Publishing: San Diego, 76-86.

Schirmer, A., Escoffier, N., & Simpson, E. (2007). Listen up! Processing of intensity change differs for vocal and nonvocal sounds. Brain Research, 1176, 103-112.

Schirmer, A. (2007). Processing words in context: Insights from event-related potentials and functional magnetic resonance imaging. In: Communicating Skills of Intention. T. Sakamoto (Ed.) Hituzi Shobo: Tokyo, 165-174.

Schirmer, A., Lui, M., Escoffier, N., Maess, B., Chan, M., & Penney, T.B. (2006). Task and sex modulate the brain response to emotional incongruity in Asian listeners. Emotion, 6, 406-417.

Schirmer, A. & Kotz, S.A. (2006). Beyond the right hemisphere: Brain mechanisms mediating vocal emotional processing. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 10, 24-30.

Schirmer, A., Kotz, S.A., & Friederici, A.D. (2005). On the role of attention for the processing of emotions in speech: Sex differences revisited. Cognitive Brain Research, 24, 442-452.

Schirmer, A., Striano, T., & Friederici, A.D. (2005). Sex differences in the pre-attentive processing of vocal emotional expressions. Neuroreport, 16, 635-639.

Schirmer, A., Tang, S.L., Penney, T.B., Gunter, C.T., & Chen, H.C. (2005). Brain responses to segmentally and tonally induced semantic violations in Cantonese. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 17, 1-12.

Schirmer, A. (2004). Timing speech: A review of lesion and neuroimaging findings. Cognitive Brain Research, 21, 269-287.

Schirmer, A., Zysset, S., Kotz, S.A., & von Cramon, D.Y. (2004). Gender differences in the activation of inferior frontal cortex during emotional speech perception. NeuroImage, 21, 1114-1123.

Schirmer, A. & Kotz, S.A. (2003). ERP evidence for a gender specific Stroop effect in emotional speech. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 15, 1135-1148.

Alter, K., Rank, E., Kotz, S.A., Töpel, U., Besson, M., Schirmer, A., & Friederici, A.D. (2003). Affective encoding in the speech signal and in event-related brain potentials. Speech Communication, 40, 61-70.

Schirmer, A., Kotz, S.A., & Friederici, A.D. (2002). Sex differentiates the role of emotional prosody during word processing. Cognitive Brain Research, 14, 228-233.

Schirmer, A. & Kotz, S.A. (2002). Sex differentiates the Stroop-effect in emotional speech: ERP evidence. In: Proceedings of the 1st Speech Prosody Conference, Aix-en-Provence, France, 631-634.

Schirmer, A., Alter, K., Kotz, S.A., & Friederici, A.D. (2001). Lateralization of prosody during language production: A lesion study. Brain and Language, 76, 1-17.

Alter, K., Rank, E., Kotz, S.A., Toepel, U., Besson, M., Schirmer, A., & Friederici, A.D. (2000). Accentuation and emotions – two different systems? In: Proceedings of the ISCA Workshop on Speech and Emotion, Belfast, Northern Ireland, 138-142.

Alter, K., Schirmer, A., Kotz, S.A., & Friederici, A.D. (1999). Prosodic phrasing and accentuation in speech production of patients with right hemisphere lesions. In: Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Speech Communication and Technology, Budapest, Hungary, 223-226.