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.
 

Neuroscience

Director: Prof. David Poeppel, PhD

The Department of Neuroscience works on the neurobiology of hearing, language processing, and music, including the dimensions of aesthetic experience.

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.

 

 

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

Red rose with black background

New Journal Article Investigates the Appeal of Erotic Bestsellers

[more]
Feet with Cosy Socks On Table, Laptop with Movie, Fireplace and Glass of Redwine in the Background

First Large-Scale Study of Feel-Good Films and Their Audiences

[more]
The Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci

New Journal Article Surveys the Field of the Science of Aesthetics

[more]
Female boxer in anticipation

International team of researchers identifies cognitive computations underlying human predictive behavior.

[more]

Events


Online Event

The French Connection What does it mean to be a scientist or scholar? “Growing up in Academia” is a conversation series... [more]


Online Event

What is music, and why did it evolve? How can we understand the unity and diversity found throughout the world’s music?... [more]