Dr Alex Sel

Department of Psychology
Dr Alex Sel



I completed my BSc (First Class hons) in Psychology and my PhD (Distinction Cum Laude) in electrophysiology of emotion and language processing at the University Complutense of Madrid, Spain. I then completed a 2-year postdoctoral position at Royal Holloway University of London where I investigated the neural dynamics underpinning embodiment of emotion and self-processing. In 2015 I moved to the University of Oxford where I worked for 3 years on my personal research grant investigating the brain mechanisms underlying social and action control. I joined the Department of Psychology, University of Essex in June 2019 The overarching aim of my research is to understand how sensory and motor signals coming from within and outside the body influence our social behaviours. I am particularly interested in how the human brain forms representations of affective states through bodily interoceptive signals, and how it leverages these representations to guide actions. To perform my research, I employ a variety of techniques including high-density electrophysiological recording techniques (EEG/ERPs), interventional techniques (TMS/tDCS/tVNS) and behavioural measures as indexes of cognitive processes.


University of Essex

  • Lecturer, Psychology, University of Essex (3/6/2019 - present)

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Discovering Psychology: The Science Behind Human Behaviour (PS111)

  • Seeing and Hearing (PS414)

  • Theory and Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuropsychology (PS949)


Journal articles (13)

Sel, A., Sui, J., Sheppard, J. and Humphreys, G., Self-Association and Attentional Processing Regarding Perceptually Salient Items. Review of Philosophy and Psychology

Gentsch, A., Sel, A., Marshall, AC. and Schütz‐Bosbach, S., (2019). Affective interoceptive inference: Evidence from heart‐beat evoked brain potentials. Human Brain Mapping. 40 (1), 20-33

Sel, A., Azevedo, RT. and Tsakiris, M., (2017). Heartfelt Self: Cardio-Visual Integration Affects Self-Face Recognition and Interoceptive Cortical Processing. Cerebral Cortex. 27 (11), 5144-5155

Sel, A., Harding, R. and Tsakiris, M., (2016). Electrophysiological correlates of self-specific prediction errors in the human brain. NeuroImage. 125, 13-24

Sel, A., Calvo-Merino, B., Tuettenberg, S. and Forster, B., (2015). When you smile, the world smiles at you: ERP evidence for self-expression effects on face processing. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 10 (10), 1316-1322

Sel, A., (2014). Predictive codes of interoception, emotion, and the self. Frontiers in Psychology. 5 (MAR), 189-

Sel, A., Forster, B. and Calvo-Merino, B., (2014). The Emotional Homunculus: ERP Evidence for Independent Somatosensory Responses during Facial Emotional Processing. Journal of Neuroscience. 34 (9), 3263-3267

Sel, A. and Calvo-Merino, B., (2013). Neuroarchitecture of musical emotions. Revista de Neurologia. 56 (5), 289-297

Fondevila, S., Martín-Loeches, M., Jiménez-Ortega, L., Casado, P., Sel, A., Fernández-Hernández, A. and Sommer, W., (2012). The sacred and the absurd––an electrophysiological study of counterintuitive ideas (at sentence level). Social Neuroscience. 7 (5), 445-457

Jiménez-Ortega, L., Martín-Loeches, M., Casado, P., Sel, A., Fondevila, S., de Tejada, PH., Schacht, A. and Sommer, W., (2012). How the Emotional Content of Discourse Affects Language Comprehension. PLoS ONE. 7 (3), e33718-e33718

Schacht, A., Martín-Loeches, M., Casado, P., Abdel Rahman, R., Sel, A. and Sommer, W., (2010). How Is Sentence Processing Affected by External Semantic and Syntactic Information? Evidence from Event-Related Potentials. PLoS ONE. 5 (3), e9742-e9742

Martín-Loeches, M., Sel, A., Casado, P., Jiménez, L. and Castellanos, L., (2009). Encouraging Expressions Affect the Brain and Alter Visual Attention. PLoS ONE. 4 (6), e5920-e5920

Martín Loeches, M., Casado Martínez, P. and Sel de Felipe, A., (2008). La evolución del cerebro en el género Homo: la neurobiología que nos hace diferentes. Revista de Neurología. 46 (12), 731-731

Books (1)

Sel, A., Música, Emociones y Lenguaje: Una vision desde el cerebro. [Music, Emotion and Language: A view from the brain]. Saarbrücken, EAE

Book chapters (1)

Sel, A. and Shepherd, J., Inhibitory control and self-control

+44 (0) 1206 873817


4.719, Colchester Campus