Faculty Feature of the Month

September 3, 2021 - Ireland Ingram

This month’s faculty feature is Ralf Schmälzle, Ph.D. Dr. Schmälzle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at MSU. He is uniquely cross-trained in communication, health psychology and the cognitive neurosciences. He received his doctorate from the University of Konstanz, Germany, where he also held a postdoctoral position. Before joining MSU, Dr. Schmälzle worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Pennsylvania in the Communication Neuroscience Lab.

About His Research:

Ralf Schmälzle's research strives to provide a mechanistic understanding of how messages affect the brain and how the brain - the biological organ of communication - enables us to respond to and interact with a uniquely social world. With this overarching goal in mind, his work promotes theoretical and methodological integration between communication science and neuroscience. he currently advances this goal within two areas: Neuroimaging of Health Prevention Messages and Cognitive/Media Neuroscience.

One of his major roles is to provide a unique interdisciplinary learning environment for communication scientists who seek to embrace neuroscience or biological approaches to communication more broadly. His main research tools include functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG/ERP), and related imaging methods. He combines these methods with self-report and linguistic measures, and behavioral testing. As a Cognitive Neuroscientist by training he also retains a healthy interest in AI and machine learning.



Assistant Professor: Department of Communication, Neuroscience of Messages Lab (NOM) nom.cas.msu.edu

Co-Director: Center for Avatar Research and Immersive Social Media Applications (CARISMA) carismalab.com

Personal Website: ralfschmaelzle.net


Recent publications in press:

Schmälzle, R., Wilcox, S., & Grall, C.. (in press). Neuroimaging in Environmental Communication Research. In. Takahashi, B., Metag, J., Thaker, C. & Evans-Comfort, A.: ICA-Routledge Handbook of International Trends in Environmental Communication.

Anderson, J., Lapinski, M., Turner, M., Peng, T., & Schmälzle, R.. (2021). Speaking of Values: Value-Expressive Communication and Exercise Intentions. Health Communication.

Grall, C., Weber, R., Tamborini, R., & Schmälzle, R.. (2021). Stories collectively engage listeners’ brains: Enhanced intersubject correlations during reception of personal narratives. Journal of Communication.