WHO LIKES WHAT,
AND WHY?

In a joint effort of researchers from the humanities and the sciences, the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics explores who aesthetically appreciates what, for which reasons and under which situational and historical circumstances, and analyzes the functions of aesthetic preferences and practices for individuals and societies.

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Departments

Language and Literature

Director: Prof. Dr. Winfried Menninghaus

The Department of Language and Literature investigates the aesthetically relevant features and the aesthetic perception as well as the evaluation of linguistic utterances and texts, with a specific focus on literature.

Music

Director: Prof. Dr. Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann

Using a variety of methods, the Department of Music researches the processing, experiencing and evaluation of music, as well as behaviour during its reception.
 

Cognitive Neuropsychology

Director: Prof. Dr. Fredrik Ullén

The Department of Cognitive Neuropsychology investigates the neuropsychological mechanisms of musical expertise, skill learning and creativity, as well as relations between cultural engagement, well-being and health.

 

Research Groups

Histories of Music, Mind, and Body

Dr. Carmel Raz

The "Histories of Music, Mind, and Body" Research Group seeks to historicize specific philosophical, embodied, and medical understandings of the experience of music.

 

Computational Auditory Perception

Dr. Nori Jacoby

Focusing largely on the auditory modality, the "Computational Auditory Perception" Research Group explores the roles of experience and exposure in creating and affecting our perception of the world.
 

Neural and Environmental Rhythms

Molly Henry, PhD

The Research Group "Neural and Environmental Rhythms" focuses on understanding how brain–environment synchrony contributes to our individual experience of the auditory world

Neurocognition of Music and Language

PD Dr. Daniela Sammler

The Research Group “Neurocognition of Music and Language” explores perceptual, cognitive, and expressive similarities and differences between music and language, as well as their neural grounding and links with aesthetics.

Neural Circuits, Consciousness, and Cognition

Prof. Lucia Melloni, PhD

The Research Group Neural Circuits, Consciousness, and Cognition seeks to understand why some experiences feel the way they do (consciousness) and how such experiences are imprinted on our brain (learning and memory).

 

 

The Institute

Our institutes investigates the foundations and mechanisms of aesthetic perception and evaluation as well as aesthetically appealing features of objects and events across sensory modalities. It draws on broad multi-disciplinary expertise and a large variety of methods. Key desiderata include the multiple nuances as well as individual and cultural differences of aesthetic liking, its motivational implications and the functions of aesthetic experiences for cognitive and affective development and for subjective well-being and social communication. [more]

About usPeople

Library

The Library provides researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics as well as interested scholars and artists with literature, scientific information and audiovisual media in the fields of aesthetics, music, psychology, literature and cultural studies. [more]

CollectionOpening hours

ArtLab

The ArtLab is both a modern, multi-purpose event location, as well as a psychophysiological research facility. Regularly featured here are all kinds of performances (e.g., classical and contemporary musical concerts, literary readings, movie presentations) as well as scientific studies and experiments involving up to 46 test subjects simultaneously.
Information/ Facilities

 

 

News

Fredrik Ullén, Julia F. Christensen, Luisa Sancho Escanero, Emily Cross, Rebecca Smith and Vincenzo Minervini applaud.

Hybrid Event at the MPIEA a Huge Success

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A wall of lockers

Discovery Results from Innovative Methodology

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Screens and musicians

Research Group Investigates How Audiences React to Classical Music Concerts

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Vermeer's painting "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and EEG-curves

Have you ever wondered what the millions of neurons in your brain are doing when you ponder a favorite piece of art?

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Events


Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics

What eye movements, pupil dilation, and blinking activity tell us about musical processing A two-day conference... [more]