Dr Urte Roeber
PD Dr. rer. nat. habil. Dipl.-Psych. (University of Leipzig)

Senior Lecturer

About me

I am a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Murdoch University’s School for Psychology and Exercise Science.

I studied Psychology, Mathematics, and Computer Sciences at University of Leipzig (Germany) and at University of Southern California in Los Angeles (U.S.A.). I graduated from University of Leipzig with a Diplom (equivalent to a Masters degree) in Psychology. In 2003, I was awarded a PhD in Psychology from University of Leipzig. In January 2013 I also obtained a Higher Doctorate (habilitation, venia legendi) in Psychology from University of Leipzig. Habilitation is the highest, formal, academic qualification from German universities. At University of Leipzig it involves writing a professorial thesis to demonstrate the ability to carry out an independent program of research, giving a public defence of the thesis, and giving a student lecture on a topic chosen by the members of the habilitation committee.

Before coming to Murdoch University in 2015 I was employed in various academic positions – the last being Assistant Professor – mainly at University of Leipzig but also at University of Technology in Chemnitz (Germany) and at Southern Cross University (SCU) in Coffs Harbour (Australia). I had three stints of maternity leave.

At University of Technology in Chemnitz and at SCU I successfully planned, set-up, and managed EEG laboratories. I have used them to conduct my own projects and to conduct collaborative research. I am open and looking forward to doing the same at Murdoch University.

Teaching area

I am Unit Coordinator and lecturer for Murdoch University’s PSY396 Cognitive and Developmental Neuroscience.

I also contribute to teaching in Murdoch University’s PSY251 Psychology: Biological Bases of Behaviour.

Research areas

My current research is mainly in cognitive neuroscience of perception and higher cognition. I measure electrical activity in a person’s brain, using electroencephalography (EEG), while he or she performs various memory, attention, or perception tasks. One line of my research is aimed at understanding how we make sense of and predict the world. Another line of my research addresses the neural correlates of (visual) consciousness mainly using ambiguous visual input.

The topics I am interested in include:

  • Visual processing: in particular visual consciousness, encoding of perceptual content, binocular rivalry.
  • Auditory processing: in particular encoding/learning of rules, involuntary attention, distraction.
  • Memory processes: in particular encoding, recall/recognition, working memory.
  • Plasticity: in particular bi-/multilingualism and its influence on perceptual and cognitive mechanisms across the life span.

The methods I use include:

  • Electroencephalography (EEG): in particular event-related potentials (ERPs), source localization, frequency-tagged stimulation.
  • Behavioural performance: in particular psychophysics, reaction times, recursive correlations, circular statistics, data modelling.

Awards and grants

Grants
  • Universities Australia (UA)/ German academic exchange service [Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, DAAD] and Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BmBF)
    for Australia-Germany joint research cooperation scheme between the Biological and Cognitive Psychology group of the University of Leipzig and Department of Psychology of Murdoch University
    Project: Seeing without awareness [Visuelle Wahrnehmung ohne Bewusstsein]
    Chief investigators: O’Shea, R., Roeber, U., Müller, D., & Schröger, E.
    Partner investigators: Grimm, S. & Vallence, A.-M.
    Funds: AUD 47,347
    Funding period: 2016 / 2017
  • Fundación del Gobierno de España para la proyección internacional de las universidades españolas Universidad.es/ German academic exchange service [Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, DAAD] and Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BmBF)
    for project-based personnel exchange programme between the Biological and Cognitive Psychology group of the University of Leipzig and the Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group of the University of Barcelona
    Project: The role of predictive models in auditory processing
    Chief investigators: Schröger, E. & Escera, C.
    Partner investigators: Grimm, S., Müller, D., & Roeber, U.
    Funds:  EUR 9,789
    Funding period: 2009 / 2010
  • German Research Foundation [Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG]
    Project: Binocular Rivalry: Neural Mechanisms of Perceptual Organization (RO 3061/1-2)
    Chief investigator: Roeber, U.
    Funds: EUR 64,387
    Funding period: 2007 – 2009
  • German Research Foundation [Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG]
    Project: Binocular Rivalry: Neural Mechanisms of Perceptual Organization (RO 3061/1-1)
    Chief investigator: Roeber, U.
    Funds: EUR 63,387
    Funding period: 2005 – 2007
Scholarships
  • DAAD scholarship for being a visiting scholar of Dr. Alan Freeman at the School of Medical Sciences, The University of Sydney, Australia
    Funds: EUR 4,000
    Funding period: 08-09/2002
Awards
  • Student Poster Award at the 42nd Conference of the Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR) in Washington DC, USA in 2002

Professional and community service

Service for the profession

Since 2016 I am a member of the low-risk human research ethics committee in the School of Psychology and Exercise Science at Murdoch University.

I have acted as ad-hoc reviewer for
Biological Psychology, Brain Research, European Journal of Neuroscience, Experimental Brain Research, Experimental Psychology, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, International Journal of Psychophysiology, i-Perception, Journal of Cognitive Psychology, Journal of Vision, Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, Neuroscience Letters, PLoS ONE
German Research Foundation

I (co-)organised and (co-)chaired several symposia at international conferences, e.g., International Conference for Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON) and European Conference on Visual Perception (ECVP).

Service for the community

Since 2015 I am a member and office bearer (secretary) of the Murdoch University Child Care Centre Management Committee.

Doctoral and masters supervisions

Doctoral supervisions

  • Thomas Scott-Clark, BSc Hons (Psychology)
    Topic:
    Supervisors: J. Prince and U. Roeber
    Institution: Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
    Date: since 2016
  • Alie Male, BSc Hons (Psychology)
    Topic: Is seeing change the same as hearing change
    Supervisors: R.P. O’Shea, U. Roeber, and P. Drummond
    Institution: Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
    Date: since 2015
  • Bradley Jack, BSc Hons (Psychology)
    Topic: Conscious and not-conscious processing of visual mismatch negativity
    Supervisors: R.P. O’Shea, U. Roeber, and S. Provost
    Institution: Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, Australia
    Date: 2011 – 2016
  • Sandra Veser, Dipl.-Psych.
    Topic: Binocular rivalry and ERPs
    Supervisors: U. Roeber and Erich Schröger
    Institution: University of Leipzig, Germany
    Date: 2005 – 2011

Publications

Journals

  • Bradley, J., Widmann, A., O'Shea, R., SCHROGER, E., Roeber, U., (2017), Brain activity from stimuli that are not perceived: Visual mismatch negativity during binocular rivalry suppression, Psychophysiology, 54, 5, pages 755 - 763.
  • O'Shea, R., Roeber, U., Wade, N., (2017), Gottfried Wilhelm Osann (1833, 1836) on Simultaneous Color Contrast: Translation and Commentary, I-perception, , July-August 2017, pages 1 - 11.
  • Jack, B., Roeber, U., O'Shea, R., (2015), We make predictions about eye of origin of visual input: Visual mismatch negativity from binocular rivalry., Journal of Vision, 15, 13, pages 1 - 19.
  • Bradley, J., Roeber, U., O'Shea, R., (2015), We make predictions about eye of origin of visual input: Visual mismatch negativity from binocular rivalry, Journal of Vision, 15, 13, pages 1 - 19.
Publications submitted or in preparation
  • Jack, B. N., Roeber, U., & O’Shea, R. P. (in revision). Do early neural correlates of visual consciousness show the oblique effect? A binocular rivalry and event-related potential study. PLoS ONE.
  • Jack, B. N., Widmann, A., O’Shea, R. P., Schröger, E., & Roeber, U. (in revision). Brain activity from stimuli that are not perceived: Visual mismatch negativity during binocular rivalry suppression. Psychophysiology.
Before 2015

Publications in peer-reviewed journals

  • O’Shea, R. P., Kornmeier, J., & Roeber, U. (2013). Predicting visual consciousness electrophysiologically from intermittent binocular rivalry. PLoS ONE, 8(10), e76134. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076134
  • Van Rhijn, M., Roeber, U., & O’Shea, R. P. (2013). Can eye of origin serve as a deviant? Visual mismatch negativity from binocular rivalry. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 190. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00190
  • Berti, S., & Roeber, U. (2013). Encoding into visual working memory: Event-related brain potentials reflect automatic processing of seemingly redundant information. Neuroscience Journal, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/172614
  • Roeber, U. (2012). Neural processing of orientation differences between the eyes’ images. Journal of Vision, 12(13), 20, 1-17. doi:10.1167/12.13.20
  • Müller, D., Roeber, U., Winkler, I., Trujillo-Barreto, N., Czigler, I., & Schröger, E. (2012). Impact of lower- vs. upper-hemifield presentation on automatic colour-deviance detection: A visual mismatch negativity study. Brain Research, 1472, 89-98.
  • Roeber, U., Veser, S., Schröger, E., & O’Shea, R. P. (2011). On the role of attention in binocular rivalry: Electrophysiological evidence. PLoS One, 6(7), e22612-e22612. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022612
  • Horváth, J., Roeber, U., & Schröger, E. (2010). The effects of response sharing and stimulus presentation frequency on event-related potentials in an auditory oddball paradigm. Psychophysiology, 47(5), 931-941.
  • Müller, D., Winkler, I., Roeber, U., Schaffer, S., Czigler, I., & Schröger, E. (2010). Visual object representations can be formed outside the focus of voluntary attention: Evidence from event-related brain potentials. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22(6), 1179-1188.
  • Wong, E. M. Y., Roeber, U., & Freeman, A. W. (2010). Lengthy suppression from similar stimuli during rapid serial visual presentation. Journal of Vision, 10(1), 14, 11-12. doi: doi:10.1167/10.1.14.
  • Horváth, J., Roeber, U., & Schröger, E. (2009). The utility of brief, spectrally rich, dynamic sounds in the passive oddball paradigm. Neuroscience Letters, 461(3), 262- 265.
  • Roeber, U., Berti, S., Müller, D., Widmann, A., & Schröger, E. (2009). Disentangling effects of auditory distraction and of stimulus-response sequence. Psychophysiology, 46(2), 425-438.
  • Horváth, J., Roeber, U., Bendixen, A., & Schröger, E. (2008). Specific or general? The nature of attention set changes triggered by distracting auditory events. Brain Research, 1229, 193-203.
  • Roeber, U., Widmann, A., Trujillo-Barreto, N. J., Herrmann, C. S., O’Shea, R. P., & Schröger, E. (2008). Early correlates of visual awareness in the human brain: Time and place from event-related brain potentials. Journal of Vision, 8(3), 21, 1-12.
  • Roeber, U., Wong, E. M. Y., & Freeman, A. W. (2008). Cross-orientation interactions in human vision. Journal of Vision, 8(3, 15), 1-11.
  • Veser, S., O’Shea, R. P., Schröger, E., Trujillo-Barreto, N. J., & Roeber, U. (2008). Early correlates of visual awareness following orientation and colour rivalry. Vision Research, 48(22), 2359-2369.
  • Bendixen, A., Roeber, U., & Schröger, E. (2007). Regularity extraction and application in dynamic auditory stimulus sequences. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19(10), 1664-1677.
  • Schröger, E., Bendixen, A., Trujillo-Barreto, N. J., & Roeber, U. (2007). Processing of abstract rule violations in audition. PLoS One, 2(11), e1131. doi: e1131. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001131
  • Grimm, S., Roeber, U., Trujillo-Barreto, N. J., & Schröger, E. (2006). Mechanisms for detecting auditory temporal and spectral deviations operate over similar time windows but are divided differently between the two hemispheres. NeuroImage, 32(1), 275-282.
  • Roeber, U., Berti, S., Widmann, A., & Schröger, E. (2005). Response repetition vs. Response change modulates behavioral and electrophysiological effects of distraction. Cognitive Brain Research, 22(3), 451-456.
  • Berti, S., Roeber, U., & Schröger, E. (2004). Bottom-up influences on working memory: Behavioral and electrophysiological distraction varies with distractor strength. Experimental Psychology, 51(4), 249-257.
  • Roeber, U., & Schröger, E. (2004). Binocular rivalry is partly resolved at early processing stages with steady and with flickering presentation: a human event- related brain potential study. Neuroscience Letters, 371(1), 51-55. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2004.08.038
  • Roeber, U., Berti, S., & Schröger, E. (2003). Auditory distraction with different presentation rates: An event-related potential and behavioral study. Clinical Neurophysiology, 114(2), 341-349.
  • Roeber, U., Widmann, A., & Schröger, E. (2003). Auditory distraction by duration and location deviants: A behavioral and event-related potential study. Cognitive Brain Research, 17(2), 347-357.
  • Jacobsen, T., Humphreys, G. W., Schröger, E., & Roeber, U. (2002). Visual marking for search: Behavioral and event-related potential analyses. Cognitive Brain Research, 14(3), 410-421.
  • Jacobsen, T., Schröger, E., Humphreys, G. W., & Roeber, U. (2001). Facilitation of visual search at new positions: A behavioral and ERP study of new object capture. Neuroreport, 12(18), 4161-4164.
  • Madigan, S., Neuse, J., & Roeber, U. (2000). Retrieval latency and “at-risk” memories. Memory & Cognition, 28(4), 523-528.
  • Kaernbach, C., Schröger, E., Jacobsen, T., & Roeber, U. (1999). Effects of consciousness on human brain waves following binocular rivalry. Neuroreport, 10(4), 713-716.

Publications in refereed book chapters

  • O’Shea, R. P., Roeber, U., & Bach, M. (2010). Evoked potentials: Vision. In E. B. Goldstein (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Perception (Vol. 1, pp. 399-400, xii). Los Angeles: Sage Publications, Inc.

  • Roeber, U., & Kaernbach, C. (2004). Memory scanning beyond the limit—if there is one. In C. Kaernbach, E. Schröger, & H. J. Müller (Eds.), Psychophysics beyond sensation: Laws and invariants of human cognition (pp. 371-388). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Monographs

  • Roeber, U. (2012). Binocular interactions: From receiving to perceiving. Professorial thesis, Universität Leipzig, Leipzig.

  • Roeber, U. (2003). Unwillkürliche Aufmerksamkeit: Effekte auf Verhalten und ereigniskorrelierte Potentiale in einem auditiven Distraktionsparadigma. Doctoral thesis, Universität Leipzig, Leipzig.