Univ.-Prof. Dr. Annett Schirmer

Professur für Allgemeine Psychologie II

Raum: 2W09 (2.OG, Universitätsstraße 5-7)
Sprechstunde: nach Vereinbarung
em@il: Annett.Schirmer@uibk.ac.at
Telefon: +43 (0)512 507-56073

Schirmer Profile Photo

Short Biography

Annett Schirmer obtained her PhD in 2002 for research conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Germany. After working there as a post-doctoral fellow, she began her first professorial appointment at the University of Georgia, USA in 2004. In 2006, she moved to the National University of Singapore and in 2017 she moved to the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 2022, Annett Schirmer joined Innsbruck University where she is now head of the Department of General Psychology II Emotion and Motivation. She has authored a textbook on Emotions that appeared with Sage and published many empirical articles in a range of international outlets including, for example, Cerebral Cortex, Emotion and Neuroimage. Annett Schirmer has been contributing to the field as an associate editor of The British Journal of Psychology and Social, Cognitive and Affective Sciences.



General Psychology III (Emotion & Motivation)

Research Seminar I & II

Special Topics Seminar (Interpersonal Touch)



Research in the Schirmer lab examines the effect of nonverbal behaviors on interaction partners. Of particular interest are vocal and tactile behaviors, their processing pathways and effects on intra- and interpersonal processes in the context of health and well-being. Although the main focus is on understanding human exchanges, the lab also explores non-human species such as dogs or fish. Key methods entail behavioral techniques like the tracking of eye and body motion as well as techniques that elucidate underlying biological mechanisms including, for example, the electroencephalogram.


Lab website



Selected Publications

Schirmer, A., Cham, C., Zhao, Z., Croy, I. (in press). What Makes Touch Comfortable? An Examination of Touch Giving and Receiving in Two Cultures. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Schirmer, A., Lai, O., McGlone, F., Cham, C., & Lau, D. (in press). Gentle stroking elicits somatosensory ERP that differentiates between hairy and glabrous skin. Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

Lo, C., Chu, S.T., Penney, T.B., & Schirmer, A. (2021). 3D hand motion tracking and bottom-up classification sheds light on the physical properties of gentle stroking. Neuroscience, 464, 90-104.

Hoehl, S., Fairhurst, M., & Schirmer, A. (2021). Interactional Synchrony: Signals, Mechanisms, and Benefits. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, 16, 5-18.

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

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.

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

Schirmer, A. (2014). Emotion. Sage Publications, Inc.

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

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