Creating and
the Arts

The Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (MPIEA) investigates why and how people create art and how they perform, experience, and evaluate it. The Institute’s focus is on music, but we also engage with other performing arts such as dance and film.

The MPIEA explores the underlying genetic, biological, and psychological processes that underlie the production and perception of art, as well as their interaction with the cultural, social, and historical factors and functions of aesthetic practices and discourses.



How can the brain economy contribute to the goals of One Health, a long-standing priority of the United Nations to reduce harmful environmental impacts on the planet and improve the neurological and mental well-being of the world's population?


Opening of the Exhibition at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main



Contact Zones — Pamela Breda, Victoria Keddie, Sajan Mani

Exhibition at the Museum Angewandte Kunst in Frankfurt am Main


Latest Studies

Ein Gedächtnisexperiment


Online-Umfrage zu Musikgeschmack




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.

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).