David Sander
Professor at Department of Psychology, University of Geneva
General Information

David Sander studied mathematics and psychology at the University René Descartes (Paris, France), and received a PhD in Cognitive Sciences from the University Louis Lumière (Lyon, France).

In 2002, he joined the Department of Psychology at the University of Geneva (Switzerland). He is now full professor in this Department where he directs the Laboratory for the study of Emotion Elicitation and Expression (E3Lab: http://www.unige.ch/fapse/EmotionLab).

In 2012, he has been appointed Director of the Centre Interfacultaire en Sciences Affectives, and of the National Center of Competence in Research (NCCR) in Affective Sciences (http://www.affective-sciences.org). He is mainly interested in the mechanisms involved in emotion elicitation, and how these mechanisms modulate attention, memory, and decision-making.

Current Research

Research in my Laboratory investigates the cognitive mechanisms involved in the appraisal of relevant stimuli, and how these processes elicit emotions, and modulate attention, memory, and decision-making.

Currently, five major research programs are developed. These research programs aim at empirically investigating:
  • The nature and function of affective relevance
  • Appraisal-driven facial expression of emotion
  • Mechanisms underlying emotional attention and memory
  • Affective effects on decision-making
  • Emotional processing of olfactory stimuli


Most representative publications:

  • Brosch, T., Sander, D., Pourtois, G., & Scherer, K. R. (2008). Beyond fear: Rapid spatial orienting towards emotional positive stimuli. Psychological Science, 19(4), 362-370.
  • Coppin, G., Delplanque, S., Cayeux, I., Porcherot, C., and Sander, D. (2010). I’m no longer torn after choice: How explicit choices implicitly shape preferences of odors. Psychological Science, 21, 489-493.
  • Cristinzio, C., N’Diaye, K., Seeck, M, Vuilleumier, P., & Sander, D. (2010). Integration of gaze direction and facial expression in patients with unilateral amygdala damage. Brain, 133, 248-261.
  • Grandjean, D.*, Sander, D., Pourtois, G., Schwartz, S., Seghier, M., Scherer, K. R., & Vuilleumier, P. (2005). The voices of wrath: Brain responses to angry prosody in meaningless speech. Nature Neuroscience, 8(2), 145-146.
  • Montagrin, A., Brosch, T., & Sander, D. (in press). Goal Conduciveness as a Key Determinant of Memory Facilitation. Emotion.
  • Mumenthaler, C., & Sander, D. (2012). Social Appraisal Influences Recognition of Emotions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 102(6), 1118-1135.
  • Sander, D. (2013). Models of emotion: the affective neuroscience approach. In J. L. Armony & P. Vuilleumier (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Human Affective Neuroscience (pp. 5-53). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sander, D., Grafman, J., & Zalla, T. (2003). The human amygdala: An evolved system for relevance detection. Reviews in the Neurosciences, 14(4), 303-316.
  • Sander, D., & Scherer, K. R. (Eds.) (2009). The Oxford Companion to emotion and the affective sciences. New York and Oxford : Oxford University Press.
Selected Publications
Mumenthaler, C., Sander, D. (In Press) Automatic Integration of Social Information in Emotion Recognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General , .
Pool, E.R., Delplanque, S., Coppin, G., Sander, D. (In Press) Is Comfort Food Really Comforting? Mechanisms Underlying Stress-Induced Eating. Food Research International , .
Pool, E.R., Brosch, T., Delplanque, S., Sander, D. (In Press) Stress Increases Cue-triggered "Wanting" for Sweet Reward in Humans.. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition. , .
Ferdenzi, C., Delplanque, S., Vorontsova-Wenger, O., Pool, E.R., Bianchi-Demicheli, F., Sander, D. (In Press) Perception of men’s beauty and attractiveness by women with low sexual desire.. Journal of Sexual Medicine , .
Ferdenzi, C., Delplanque, S., Mehu-Blantar, I., Da Paz Cabral, K., Domingos Felicio, M., Sander, D. (2014) The GEneva Faces And Voices (GEFAV) database. Behavior research Methods , .