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Professor Ottmar Lipp

DipPsych Giessen, PhD Giessen, FASSA , FAPS .

Associate Investigator

Contact Details

Phone : +61 8 9266 5112
email :
Homepage :

External Address

School of Psychology and Speech Pathology
Curtin University


My research interests fall into the broad areas of biological, clinical, or social psychology. They are conducted experimentally using a range of different measures (physiological: EMG, autonomic responses; behavioural: eye movements, reaction time; self report). I currently lead three major research projects:

• The acquisition and extinction of human fear: It is now accepted that fear and other emotions (positive ones as well) are learned. However, the characteristics of this learning (under which conditions does it occur; how is it influenced by cognition; how does emotional learning relate to other learning) are not well understood. We have used traditional fear conditioning paradigms (see for instance Rowles et al., 2012) and evaluative learning paradigms (e.g., Lipp et al., 2010) to answer these questions.

• The emotional face: Some facial expressions of emotion are said to be processed preferentially relative to others (face in the crowd effect) and even under conditions of minimal stimulus input. However, there are also reports that question this claim. Moreover, little is known about the manner in which emotional expressions are processed (holistically vs. feature based) and how processing of facial expressions interacts with the processing of other facial characteristics such as age, sex, or race. We use behavioural (Savage et al., 2012) and physiological paradigms (Bramwell et al., 2014) to address these questions.

• The Science of Learning: While experimental psychology has contributed greatly to our understanding of associative learning, less is known about more complet forms of learning such as the learning done by students in class. This project is concerned with the mechanisms that mediate the testing effect (repeated testing can facilitate learning more than repeated practise) and how biases (stability bias in memory) affect learning outcomes.

Recent External Appointments

  • Fellow, Association for Psychological Science. (2014 continuing)
  • Fellow, Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. (2008 continuing)

External Memberships

  • Member, Australian Society for Experimental Psychology
  • Member, Society for Psychophysiological Research

Recent Grants Awarded

  • ARC Discovery Project Grant [DP150101540] (2015 - 2017) "The emotional face: Effects on orienting, visual search, and categorisation." Lipp, O.V., Hess, U., & Martin, F.H. ($443,900)
  • ARC Discovery Project Grant [DP120100750] (2012 - 2014) "The extinction of human fear." Lipp, O.V. ($210,000)
  • ARC Special Research Initiative (2012 - 2015) "The Science of Learning Research Centre." Lipp, O.V. et al. ($16,000,000)
  • ARC Discovery Project Grant [DP110100460] (2011 - 2013) "The emotional face." Lipp, O.V., & Arnold, D. ($171,000)

Selected Publications

Book Chapters

  • Neumann, D.L., Lipp, O.V., & McHugh, M.J. (2012). The relationship between different measures of fear learning following tests for reinstatement and spontaneous recovery of extinguished conditioned fear. In G. Andrews, & D.L. Neumann (Eds.), Beyond the Lab: Applications of Cognitive Research in Memory and Learning (pp. 83-108). New York, USA: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.


  • Arguel, A., Lockyer, L., Lipp, O.V., Lodge, J.M., & Kennedy, G. (2017). Inside out: Detecting learners' confusion to improve interactive digital learning environments. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 55(4), 526-551. doi:10.1177/0735633116674732
  • Black, M.H., Chen, N.T.M., Lyer, K.K., Lipp, O.V., Bolte, S., Falkmer, M., Tan, T., & Girdler, S. (2017). Mechanisms of facial emotion recognition in autism spectrum disorders: Insights from eye tracking and electroencephalography. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 80, 488-515. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2017.06.016
  • Caneiro, J.P., O'Sullivan, P., Smith, A., Moseley, G.L., & Lipp, O.V. (In Press). Implicit evaluations and physiological threat responses in people with persistent low back pain and fear of bending. Scandinavian Journal of Pain.
  • Craig, B.M, & Lipp, O.V. (2017). Facial age cues and emotional expression interact asymmetrically: Age cues moderate emotion categorisation. Cognition and Emotion. doi:10.1080/02699931.2017.1310087
  • Craig, B.M., & Lipp, O.V. (2017). The influence of facial sex cues on emotional expression categorization is not fixed. Emotion, 17(1), 28-39. doi:10.1037/emo0000208
  • Craig, B.M., Zhang, J., & Lipp, O.V. (2017). Facial race and sex cues have a comparable influence on emotion recognition in Chinese and Australian participants. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 79(7), 2212-2223. doi:10.3758/s13414-017-1364-z
  • Krys, K., Capaldi, C.A., van Tilburg, W., Lipp, O.V., Bond, M.H., Vauclair, C.M., Manickam, L.S., ..., & Ahmed, R.A. (In Press). Catching up with wonderful women: The women-are-wonderful effect is smaller in more gender egalitarian societies. International Journal of Psychology. doi:10.1002/ijop.12420
  • Luck, C.C., & Lipp, O.V. (2017). Verbal instructions targeting valence alter negative conditional stimulus evaluations (but do not affect reinstatement rates). Cognition and Emotion. doi:10.1080/02699931.2017.1280449
  • Luck, C.C., & Lipp, O.V. (2017). Startle modulation and explicit valence evaluations dissociate during backward fear conditioning. Psychophysiology, 54(5), 673-683. doi:10.1111/psyp.12834
  • McEvoy, P.M., Moulds, M.L., Grisham, J.R., Holmes, E.A., Moscovitch, D.A., Hendrie, D., Salesman, L.M., Lipp, O.V., Kane, R.T., Rapee, R.M., Hyett, M.P., & Erceg-Hurn, D.M. (2017). Assessing the efficacy of imagery-enhanced cognitive behavioural group therapy for social anxiety disorder: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials, 60, 34-41. doi:10.1016/j.cct.2017.06.010
  • Thompson, A., & Lipp, O.V. (2017). Extinction during reconsolidation eliminates recovery of fear conditioned to fear-irrelevant and fear-relevant stimuli. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 92, 1-10. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2017.01.017
  • Zhang, J., Lipp, O.V., & Hu, P. (2017). Individual differences in automatic emotion regulation interact with primed emotion regulation during an anger provocation. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 614. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00614
  • Buckley, S., Reid, K., Goos, M., Lipp, O.V., & Thomson, S. (2016). Understanding and addressing mathematics anxiety using perspectives from education, psychology and neuroscience. Australian Journal of Education, 60(2), 157-170. doi:10.1177/0004944116653000
  • Cornwell, T.B., Lipp, O.V., & Purkis, H. (2016). Examination of affective responses to images in sponsorship-linked marketing. Journal of Global Sport Management, 1(3-4), 110-128. doi:10.1080/24704067.2016.1240947
  • Craig, B.M., Koch, S., & Lipp, O.V. (2016). The influence of social category cues on the happy categorisation advantage depends on expression valence. Cognition and Emotion. doi:10.1080/02699931.2016.1215293
  • Krys, K., Vauclair, C.-M., Capaldi, C.A., Lun, V., Bond, M.H., Dominguez-Espinosa, A., Torres, C., Lipp, O.V., et al., & Yu, A.A. (2016). Be careful where you smile: Culture shapes judgments of intelligence and honesty of smiling individuals. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 40(2), 101-116. doi:10.1007/s10919-015-0226-4
  • Luck, C.C., & Lipp, O.V. (2016). Instructed extinction in human fear conditioning: History, recent developments, and future directions. Australian Journal of Psychology, 68, 209-227. doi:10.1111/ajpy.12135
  • Luck, C.C., & Lipp, O.V. (2016). The influence of contingency reversal instructions on electrodermal responding and conditional stimulus valence evaluations during differential fear conditioning. Learning and Motivation, 54, 1-11. doi:10.1016/j.lmot.2016.05.001
  • Luck, C.C., & Lipp, O.V. (2016). When orienting and anticipation dissociate: A case for scoring electrodermal responses in multiple latency windows in studies of human fear conditioning. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 100, 36-43. doi:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2015.12.003
  • Savage, R.A., Becker, S.I., & Lipp, O.V. (2016). Visual search for emotional expressions: Effect of stimulus set on anger and happiness superiority. Cognition and Emotion, 30(4), 713-730. doi:10.1080/02699931.2015.1027663
  • Vromen, J.M.G., Lipp, O.V., Remington, R.W., & Becker, S.I. (2016). Threat captures attention, but not automatically: Top-down goals modulate attentional orienting to threat distractors. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 78(7), 2266. doi:10.3758/s13414-016-1142-3
  • Lipp, O.V., Craig, B.M., & Dat, M.C. (2015). A happy face advantage with male Caucasian faces – it depends on the company you keep. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6(1), 109-115. doi:10.1177/1948550614546047
  • Lipp, O.V., Karnadewi, F., Craig, B.M., & Cronin, S.L. (2015). Stimulus set size modulates the sex–emotion interaction in face categorization. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 77(4), 1285-1294. doi:10.3758/s13414-015-0849-x
  • Luck, C.C., & Lipp, O.V. (2015). A potential pathway to the relapse of fear? Conditioned negative stimulus evaluation (but not physiological responding) resists instructed extinction. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 66, 18-31. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2015.01.001
  • Luck, C.C., & Lipp, O.V. (2015). To remove or not to remove? Removal of the unconditional stimulus electrode does not mediate instructed extinction effects. Psychophysiology, 52(9), 1248-1256. doi:10.1111/psyp.12452
  • Savage, R.A., & Lipp, O.V. (2015). The effect of face inversion on the detection of emotional faces in visual search. Cognition & Emotion, 29(6), 972-991. doi:10.1080/02699931.2014.958981
  • Vromen, J.M.G., Lipp, O.V., & Remington, R.W. (2015). The spider does not always win the fight for attention: Disengagement from threat is modulated by goal set. Cognition and Emotion, 29(7), 1185-1196. doi:10.1080/02699931.2014.969198
  • Bramwell, S., Mallan, K.M., & Lipp, O.V. (2014). Are two threats worse than one? The effects of face race and emotion on fear conditioning. Psychophysiology, 51, 152-158.
  • Constable, M.D., Kritikos, A., Lipp, O.V., & Bayliss, A.P. (2014). Object ownership and action: The influence of social context and choice on the physical manipulation of personal property. Experimental Brain Research, 232(12), 3749-3761. doi:10.1007/s00221-014-4063-1
  • Craig, B.M., Becker, S.I., & Lipp, O.V. (2014). Different faces in the crowd: A happiness superiority effect for schematic faces in heterogeneous backgrounds. Emotion, 14, 794-803.
  • Craig, B.M., Lipp, O.V., & Mallan, K.M. (2014). Emotional expressions preferentially elicit implicit evaluations of faces also varying in race or age. Emotion, 14, 865-877. doi: 10.1037/a0037270
  • Dickins, D.S.E. & Lipp, O.V. (2014). Visual search for schematic emotional faces: Angry faces are more than crosses. Cognition & Emotion, 28, 98-114.
  • Ho, Y., & Lipp, O.V. (2014). Faster acquisition of conditioned fear to fear-relevant than to nonfear-relevant conditional stimuli. Psychophysiology, 51, 810-813.
  • Lipp, O.V., Craig, B.M., Frost, M.J., Terry, D.J., & Smith, J.R. (2014). Searching for emotion or race: Task irrelevant facial cues have asymmetrical effects. Cognition & Emotion, 28(6), 1100-1109. doi:10.1080/02699931.2013.867831
  • Lipp, O.V., Kempnich, C., Jee, S.H., & Arnold, D.H (2014). Fear conditioning to subliminal fear relevant and non fear relevant stimuli. PLoS ONE, 9(9), e99332. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099332
  • Erlich, N., Slaughter, V., & Lipp, O.V. (2013). Of hissing snakes and angry voices: Human infants are differentially responsive to evolutionary fear-relevant sounds. Developmental Science, 16, 894-904.
  • Flykt, A., Johansson, M., Karlsson, J., Lindeberg, S., & Lipp, O.V. (2013). Fear of Wolves and Bears – physiological responses and negative associations: A Swedish sample. Human Dimensions of Wildlife: An International Journal, 18, 416-434.
  • Mallan, K.M., Lipp, O.V., & Cochrane, B. (2013). Slithering snakes, angry men and out-group members: What and whom are we evolved to fear? Cognition & Emotion, 27, 1168-1180.
  • Marinovic, W., de Rugy, A., Lipp, O.V., & Tresilian, J.R. (2013). Responses to loud auditory stimuli indicate that movement-related activation builds-up in anticipation of action. Journal of Neurophysiology, 109, 996-1008.
  • Savage, R.A., Lipp, O.V., Craig, B.M., Becker, S.I., & Horstmann, G. (2013). In search of the emotional face: Anger vs. happiness superiority in visual search. Emotion, 13, 758-768.
  • Bayliss, A.P., Naughtin, C.K., Lipp, O.V., Kritikos, A., & Dux, P.E. (2012). Make a lasting impression: The neural consequences of re-encountering people who emote inappropriately. Psychophysiology, 49, 1571-1578.
  • Craig, B.M., Mallan, K.M., & Lipp, O.V. (2012). The effect of poser race on the happy categorisation advantage depends on stimulus type, set size, and presentation duration. Emotion, 12, 1303-1314.
  • Goodhew, S.C., Dux , P.E., Lipp, O.V., & Visser, T.A.W. (2012). Understanding recovery from object substitution masking. Cognition, 122, 405-415.
  • Horstmann, G., Lipp, O.V., & Becker, S.I. (2012). Of toothy grins and angry snarls – Open mouth displays contribute to efficiency gains in search for emotional faces. Journal of Vision, 12(5:7), 1-15.
  • Rowles, M.E., Lipp, O.V., & Mallan, K.M. (2012). On the resistance to extinction of fear conditioned to angry faces. Psychophysiology, 49, 375-380. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8986.2011.01308.x
  • Wallis, J., Lipp, O.V., & Vanman, E.J. (2012). Face age and sex modulate the other-race effect in face recognition. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 74, 1712-1721.
  • Andrews, V., Lipp, O.V., Mallan, K.M., & König, S. (2011). No evidence for subliminal affective priming with emotional facial expression primes. Motivation and Emotion, 35, 33-43.
  • Arnold, D.H. & Lipp, O.V. (2011). Discrepant integration times for upright and inverted faces. Perception, 40, 989-999.
  • Forbes, S.J., Purkis, H.M., & Lipp, O.V (2011). Better safe than sorry: Simplistic fear-relevant stimuli capture attention. Cognition & Emotion, 25, 794-804.
  • Goodhew, S.C., Visser, T.A.W., Lipp, O.V., & Dux, P.E. (2011). Implicit semantic perception in object substitution masking. Cognition, 118, 130-134.
  • Goodhew, S.C., Visser, T.A.W., Lipp, O.V., & Dux, P.E. (2011). Competing for consciousness: Prolonged mask exposure reduces object substitution masking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 37, 588-596.
  • Karnadewi F. & Lipp, O.V. (2011). The processing of invariant and variant face cues in the Garner Paradigm. Emotion, 11, 563-571.
  • Lipp, O.V., Mallan, K.M., Martin, F.H., Terry, D.J., & Smith, J.R. (2011). Electro-cortical implicit race bias does not vary with participants’ race or sex. Social, Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 6, 591-601.
  • Mallan, K.M. & Lipp, O.V. (2011). The relationship between self-reported animal fear and ERP modulation: Evidence for enhanced processing and fear of harmless invertebrates in snake- and spider-fearful individuals. Motivation and Emotion, 35, 474-483.
  • Matute, H., Lipp, O.V., Vadillo, M.A., & Humphreys, M.S. (2011). Temporal contexts: Filling the gap between episodic memory and associative learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 140, 660-673.
  • Negd, M., Mallan, K.M., & Lipp, O.V. (2011). The role of anxiety and perspective-taking strategy on affective empathic responses. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 49, 852-857.
  • Provost, S.C., Martin, F.H., Peacock, A., Lipp, O.V., Bath, D., & Hannan, G. (2011). University students’ views on the nature of science and psychology. Psychology Learning and Teaching, 10, 128-145.
  • Waters, A.M., Lipp, O.V., & Randhawa, R.S. (2011). Visual search with animal fear-relevant stimuli: A tale of two procedures. Motivation and Emotion, 35, 23-32.
  • Zhang, J., Lipp, O.V., Oei, T.P.S., & Zhou, R. (2011). The effects of arousal and valence on facial electromyographic asymmetry during blocked picture viewing. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 79, 378-384.

Conference Presentations, Colloquia, and other presentations

  • Atkinson, C.M., Lipp, O., & Martin, F. (2017, April). Sex and context: Facial expression processing depends on the company you keep. Paper presented at the 44th Annual Conference of Australasian Society of Experimental Psychology (EPC17), Shoal Bay.
  • Chen, N.T.M., Hammond, M., Palermo, R., Lipp, O., & Maybery, M.T. (2017, April). Mechanisms of facial emotion processing in high autistic traits: Evidence from eye tracking. Paper presented at the 4th Annual Conference of Australasian Society of Experimental Psychology (EPC17), Shoal Bay.
  • Green, L., & Lipp, O. (2017, April). The effect of temporal context cues on the renewal of conditional fear responding. Poster session presented at the 44th Annual Conference of Australasian Society of Experimental Psychology (EPC17), Shoal Bay.
  • Lindeberg, S., Lipp, O., & Craig, B.M. (2017, April). Attractiveness moderates the happy face advantage. Paper presented at the 44th Annual Conference of Australasian Society of Experimental Psychology (EPC17), Shoal Bay.
  • Lipp, O., Craig, B.M. & Zhang, J. (2017, April). A cross-cultural investigation of the influence of facial race and sex cues on emotion recognition. Paper presented at the 44th Annual Conference of Australasian Society of Experimental Psychology (EPC17), Shoal Bay.
  • Luck, C.C., & Lipp, O. (2017, April). Differential valence acquired during evaluative conditioning is sensitive to reinstatement. Paper presented at the 44th Annual Conference of Australasian Society of Experimental Psychology (EPC17), Shoal Bay.
  • Mergelsberg, E., Lipp, O., & Clarke, P. (2017, April). A closer look at the repetition assumption in training selective attention. Paper presented at the 44th Annual Conference of Australasian Society of Experimental Psychology (EPC17), Shoal Bay.
  • Mergelsberg, E., Lipp, O., & Clarke, P. (2017, April). A closer look at the repetition assumption in training selective attention. Paper presented at the Selective Attention and Individual Differences in Motivation and Emotion Forum Meeting, 44th Annual Conference of Australasian Society of Experimental Psychology (EPC17), Shoal Bay.
  • Black, M., Chen, N., Iyer, K., Lipp, O., Bolte, S., Falkmer, M., Tan, T., & Girdler, S. (2016, December). Looking and seeing emotion in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Paper presented at the Australasian Society for Autism Research Conference, Perth.
  • Chen, N., Hammond, M., Palermo, R., Lipp, O., & Maybery, M. (2016, December). Mechanisms underpinning the processing of facial emotion in high autistic traits: Evidence from eye tracking. Paper presented at the Australasian Society for Autism Research Conference, Perth.
  • Atkinson, C., Lipp, O., & Martin, F. (2016, April). Female Caucasian faces elicit the happy face advantage. Paper presented at the 43rd Annual Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Melbourne.
  • Lipp, O., Hensen-Fielding, H., & Luck, C. (2016, April). Unconditional stimulus revaluation in human evaluative conditioning. Paper presented at the 43rd Annual Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Melbourne.
  • Luck, C., & Lipp, O. (2016, April). Fear conditioned to snakes and spiders, but not pointed guns, resists instructed extinction after differential fear conditioning. Paper presented at the 43rd Annual Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Melbourne.
  • Mergelsberg, E., Mullan, B., Allom, B., Lipp, O., & Alblas, M. (2016, April). Healthy or tasty? Differences in automatic tendency to approach or avoid food stimuli between very successful and less successful healthy eaters. Paper presented at the 43rd Annual Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Melbourne.
  • Thompson, A., & Lipp, O. (2016, April). US-reactivation facilitates the reconsolidation of conditional fear responses to fear-relevant and fear-irrelevant stimuli. Paper presented at the 43rd Annual Australasian Experimental Psychology Conference (EPC), Melbourne.

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