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.

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.



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.


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.

Externally Funded Research

Biological Anthropology of Literature (Heisenberg Position)

The research project is funded by the DFG’s Heisenberg Programme. It investigates the phylogenetic preconditions of poetic behaviour

PD Dr. Katja Mellmann

Apparent Motion (Department of Neuroscience)

This study focuses on why the stimuli are perceived differently by the same participants, and how this ambiguity arises.


The prosodic syntax of German (Department of Language and Literature)

Prosody undisputedly affects the choice of syntactic constructions and the order of constituents within a sentence. However, for German, neither theories of grammar nor models of language production consider prosodic influences on sentence structure.


Focused Information (Music Department)

Information can be better perceived, processed, and maintained when it is prioritized. This focusing can unfold visually, through gaze, shifts of attention, or through memory. But how are these different forms of focus connected?


Reading time regularity (Department of Language and Literature)

The current project is concerned with predicting text comprehension from statistical measures of the reading process.


Creating an Academic Discipline (Music Department)

The current project explores the synchronous establishing of musicology and art history as academic disciplines at the University of Vienna as part of an education reform conducted by Leopold, Count von Thun und Hohenstein (1811–1888).


INHABIT // Artist-in-Residence

The INHABIT program fosters the exchange between artists and scientists and enables new and challenging perspectives towards the research at the institute. The new Artist-in-Residence program calls on artists interested in cooperating with scientists from the humanities and natural sciences who are active in aesthetics research.