Dr Helen Gaeta

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Senior Lecturer

Phone: 09-921 9999 ext 8743

Email: helen.gaeta@aut.ac.nz

Physical Address:
North Shore Campus
90 Akoranga Drive
North Shore City
Postal Address:
Mail No. A-5
Private Bag 92006
Auckland 1142
New Zealand


•    B.Sc., (double major, Psychology/Physiology, University of Auckland)
•    M.Sc., (Neurophysiology, University of Auckland)
•    Ph.D.,  (Neurophysiology, University of Auckland)

Memberships and Affiliations:

•    Society of Psychophysiological Research
•    Cognitive Neuroscience Society
•    Higher Education Research & Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA)
•    Australasian Cognitive Neuroscience Society
•    Academic Board for Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences
•    Tertiary Education Union (TEU)


My undergraduate and postgraduate degrees were completed at the University of Auckland.  After this I was appointed to a post-doctoral position at the University of Florida followed by six years as a Research Scientist in the Cognitive Electrophysiology Lab, New York State Psychiatric Institute conjoint with Associate Research Scientist, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York.  I returned to New Zealand in 2003 and was appointed Research Fellow at the University of Auckland, then Head of Anatomy & Physiology at a private PTE before taking up a senior lectureship at AUT in 2006.   

Teaching Areas:

Biopsychology, Anatomy & Physiology, Cognitive ageing, Research methods

Research Areas:

I am a cognitive neuroscientist with a focus on cognitive ageing.  My general research interests are concerned with the mind/brain relationship.  Research projects I am involved in include understanding the organisation of the hearing brain and changes in ageing that impact on auditory fidelity, identifying the neural signature of mindfulness, selective attention and ageing, working memory and ageing.  

I also collaborate in research on higher education.  Current projects explore student-centred learning activities that foster transferable skills such as, collaborative problem solving, logical and critical thinking, and adaptability to change.  These skills are considered essential for students transitioning into the workplace.

Research Summary:

With my colleague, Dr Daniel Shepherd, I co-direct The Psychophysiology Laboratory.  The lab is equipped with a 64 channel Neuroscan system for EEG/ERP studies, portable recording systems for measuring autonomic responses, and test material for neuropsychological assessment.  I have developed a number of ERP experimental protocols suitable for investigations of working memory and attentional processes in both auditory and visual modalities. I have expertise in the administration of a number of neuropsychological assessments as well as quantitative research design and statistical analyses. 

Current Research Projects:

Research projects I am involved in include understanding the organisation of the hearing brain and changes in ageing that impact on auditory fidelity, identifying the neural signature of mindfulness practice, selective attention and ageing, working memory and ageing.

Higher education research includes the contribution of group work to collaborative practice and deep learning.


Link here for my publication list.

Cognitive neuroscience:

Gaeta, H., Shepherd, D., & Wang, G. (2014). What can Electroencephalography (EEG) and Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) analyses tell us about mind and brain? NZANC Sept 2014, Abstract Book, p. 82

Gaeta, H., & Friedman, D. (2014).  Event-related-potentials reveal an age-related decline in inhibition during a working memory task.  ICON 2014, #MML012 http://www.icon2014.org/ehome/icon2014/206132/?&

Gaeta, H & Friedman, D. (2008).  Enhanced psychoacoustic sensitivity and auditory neural processing is related to long-term musical training. AWCBR meeting, Queenstown, New Zealand, (p 64).

Gaeta, H., Friedman, D., & Ritter, W. (2003).  Auditory selective attention in young and elderly adults: The selection of single versus conjoint features. Psychophysiology, 40(3), 389-406. ISSN:0048-5772, DOI: 10.1111/1469-8986.00042

Friedman, D., Cycowicz, Y., & Gaeta, H. (2001). The novelty P3: an event-related brain potential (ERP) sign of the brain's evaluation of novelty.  Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 25, 355-373. ISSN0149-7634, DOI: 10.1016/S0149-7634(01)00019-7

Higher education:

Nicola Westberry, Susan McNaughton, Jennie Billot & Helen Gaeta (2014). Resituation or resistance? Higher education teachers’ adaptations to technological change. Technology, Pedagogy and Education.  DOI:10.1080/1475939X.2013.869509

Susan McNaughton, Dr. Nicola Westberry, Dr. Jennie Billot, Dr. Helen Gaeta (2014). Exploring teachers’ perceptions of videoconferencing practice through space, movement and the material and virtual environments.  International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 8 (1) pp. 87-99. (doi: 10.5172/mra.2013.3714)

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