Prof. David Poeppel, PhD

Main Research Areas

  • Brain basis of speech perception and language comprehension
  • Auditory cognition and music
  • Multisensory perception
  • The temporal structure of perceptual experience
  • Cognitive neuroscience and its foundations


Academic Education

1990–1995      PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1987–1990      Bachelor of Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1984–1986      Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine
1974–1984      Maximiliansgymnasium, München, Germany


Since 04/2021Managing Director, Ernst Strüngmann Institute
Since 2019Principal Investigator at the Max Planck — NYU Center for Language, Music and Emotion (CLaME)
Since 2014Director at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics
Since 2009Professor, Department of Psychology, NYU
2006–2009Professor, University of Maryland, College Park
2004 (fall)DaimlerChrysler Berlin Prize, American Academy Berlin
2003–2004Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (Institute for Advanced Studies)
2003–2005Associate Professor, University of Maryland, College Park
11/2001–2005Visiting Professor, Kanazawa Institute of Technology, Kanazawa, Japan
1998–2002Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics & Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park
08/1995–12/1997Post-Doc, Department of Radiology, UCSF School of Medicine


Selected publications

Teng X, Poeppel D (in press). Theta and Gamma Bands Encode Acoustic Dynamics over Wide-ranging Timescales. Cerebral Cortex.

Tavano A, Poeppel D (2019). A division of labor between power and phase coherence in encoding attention to stimulus streams. NeuroImage 193, 146-156.

Lewis, G.A. Poeppel, D. Murphy, G.L. (2019) Contrasting Semantic versus Inhibitory Processing in the Angular Gyrus: An fMRI Study. Cerebral Cortex

Rowland, J., Kasdan, A., Poeppel, D. (2019)There is music in repetition: Looped segments of speech and nonspeech induce the perception of music in a time-dependent manner. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 1-8

Assaneo, M.F., Ripollés, P. Orpella, J., Lin, W.M., de Diego-Balaguer, R., Poeppel, D.  (2019) Spontaneous synchronization to speech reveals neural mechanisms facilitating language learning- Nature neuroscience, 10.1038/s41593-019-0353-z

Flinker, A.,  Doyle, W.K., Mehta, A.D., Devinsky, O., Poeppel, D. (2019) Spectrotemporal modulation provides a unifying framework for auditory cortical asymmetries. Nature human behaviour 3 (4) 10.1038/s41562-019-0548-z

 Doelling, K. B., Assaneo, M. F., Bevilacqua, D., Pesaran, B., & Poeppel, D. (2019). An oscillator model better predicts cortical entrainment to music. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(20), 10113-10121.

Assaneo MF, Rimmele J, Orpella J, Ripolles R, De Diego-Balaguer R, Poeppel D (2019). The lateralization of speech-brain coupling is differentially modulated by intrinsic auditory and top-down mechanisms. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience. Accepted 02 Jul 2019. Doi: 10.3389/fnint.2019.00028

Teng X, Cogan G, Poeppel D. (2019).  Speech Fine Structure Contains Critical Temporal Cues to Support Speech Segmentation. NeuroImage. 202, 116-152.

Grabenhorst, M., Michalareas, G., Maloney, L.T., Poeppel D (2019). The anticipation of events in time. Nat Commun 10, 5802  doi:10.1038/s41467-019-13849-0.

Teng, X., Sun, Y., Poeppel, D. (2018) Temporal order judgment reveals local-global auditory processes, Acta Acustica united with Acustica, 104 (5) 817-820, S. Hirzel Verlag

Rimmele, J. M, Morillon, B., Poeppel, D., Arnal, L. H. (2018) Proactive sensing of periodic and aperiodic auditory patterns, Trends in cognitive sciences,22 (10), 870-882, Elsevier Current Trends

Rowland, J., Kasdan, A., Poeppel, D. (2018) There is music in repetition: Looped segments of speech and nonspeech induce the perception of music in a time-dependent manner, Psychonomic bulletin & review, Springer US

Getz, H., Ding, N., Newport, E. L., Poeppel, D. (2018) Cortical tracking of constituent structure in language acquisition. Cognition,181, 135-140, Elsevier

Belfi, A. M., Kasdan, A., Rowland, J., Vessel, E. A., Starr, G. G., Poeppel, D. (2018) ,Rapid timing of musical aesthetic judgments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, American Psychological Association, p. 147, 1531-1543.

Lewis, G. A; Poeppel, D.; Murphy, G. L. (2018) ,Contrasting Semantic versus Inhibitory Processing in the Angular Gyrus: An fMRI Study, Cerebral Cortex

Bevilacqua, D., Davidesco, I., Wan, L., Oostrik, M., Chaloner, K., Rowland, J., Ding, M., Poeppel, D., Dikker, S. (2018) Brain-to-Brain Synchrony and Learning Outcomes Vary by Student Teacher Dynamics: Evidence from a Real-world Classroom Electroencephalography Study, Journal of cognitive neuroscience, MIT Press One Rogers Street, Cambridge, MA 02142-1209

Tian, X., Ding, N.,Teng, X., Bai, F., Poeppel, D. (2018) Imagined speech influences perceived loudness of sound,Nature Human Behaviour,2(3), 225, Nature Publishing Group

Assaneo, M. F., Poeppel, D. (2018). The coupling between auditory and motor cortices is rate-restricted: Evidence for an intrinsic speech-motor rhythm, Science advances, 4(2) 3842, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Teng, X., Tian, X., Doelling, K. Poeppel, D. (2018).Theta band oscillations reflect more than entrainment: behavioral and neural evidence demonstrates an active chunking process, European Journal of Neuroscience, 48 (8), 2770-2782.

Gwilliams, L., Linzen, T., Poeppel, D., & Marantz, A. (2018). In spoken word recognition, the future predicts the past. Journal of Neuroscience, 38 (35), 7585-7599. Society for Neuroscience

Teng, X., Tian, X. Rowland, J., Poeppel, D. (2017) Concurrent temporal channels for auditory processing: Oscillatory neural entrainment reveals segregation of function at different scales. PLoS biology 15 (11), e2000812

Ding, N. , Patel, A.D., Chen, L., Butler, H., Luo, C., Poeppel, D. (2017) Temporal modulations in speech and music. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 81, 181-187

Ding, N., Melloni, L., Tian, X., Poeppel, D. (2017) Rule-based and word-level statistics-based processing of language: insights from neuroscience Language, cognition and neuroscience 32 (5), 570-575

Ten Oever, S. Schroeder, C.E. Poeppel, D. Van Atteveldt, N. Mehta, A.D.(2017) Low-frequency cortical oscillations entrain to subthreshold rhythmic auditory stimuli. Journal of Neuroscience 37 (19), 4903-4912

Kraukauer, J.W., Gomez-Marin , A.A., MacIver, M.A., Poeppel, D.   (2017) Neuroscience needs behavior: correcting a reductionist bias. Neuron 93 (3), 480-490

Arnal, L. H., Flinker, A., Kleinschmidt, A., Giraud, A.-L., & Poeppel, D. (2015). Human Screams Occupy a Privileged Niche in the Communication Soundscape. Current Biology. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.06.043

Rimmele, J. M., Zion Golumbic, E., Schröger, E., & Poeppel, D. (2015). The effects of selective attention and speech acoustics on neural speech-tracking in a multi-talker scene. Cortex, 68(0), 144-154. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2014.12.014

Embick D. & Poeppel D. (2015). Towards a computational(ist) neurobiology of language: Correlational, integrated, and explanatory neurolinguistics. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, 30(4):357-366. PMID: 25914888

Farbood M. M., Rowland J., Marcus G., Ghitza O. & Poeppel D. (2015). Decoding time for the identification of musical key. Attention Perception Psychophyics, 77(1):28-35. doi: 10.3758/s13414-014-0806-0. PMID: 25487869.

Overath, T., McDermott, J. H., Zarate, J. M., & Poeppel, D. (2015). The cortical analysis of speech-specific temporal structure revealed by responses to sound quilts. Nature Neuroscience, 18(6), 903-11. doi: 10.1038/nn.4021

Poeppel, D. (2014). The neuroanatomic and neurophysiological infrastructure for speech and language. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 28c, 142-149. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2014.07.005

Luo, H., Tian, X., Song, K., Zhou, K., & Poeppel, D. (2013). Neural response phase tracks how listeners learn new acoustic representations. Current Biology, 23(11), 968-974. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2013.04.031

Giraud, A. L., & Poeppel, D. (2012). Cortical oscillations and speech processing: emerging computational principles and operations. Nature Neuroscience, 15(4), 511-517. doi: 10.1038/nn.3063

Lau, E. F., Phillips, C., & Poeppel, D. (2008). A cortical network for semantics: (de)constructing the N400. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 9(12), 920-933. doi: 10.1038/nrn2532

Luo, H., & Poeppel, D. (2007). Phase patterns of neuronal responses reliably discriminate speech in human auditory cortex. Neuron, 54(6), 1001-1010. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2007.06.004

Hickok, G., & Poeppel, D. (2007). The cortical organization of speech processing. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 8(5), 393-402. doi: 10.1038/nrn2113

van Wassenhove, V., Grant, K. W., & Poeppel, D. (2005). Visual speech speeds up the neural processing of auditory speech. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102(4), 1181-1186. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0408949102

Boemio, A., Fromm, S., Braun, A., & Poeppel, D. (2005). Hierarchical and asymmetric temporal sensitivity in human auditory cortices. Nature Neuroscience, 8(3), 389-395. doi: 10.1038/nn1409




Awards & Grants

Awards & Grants

2004DaimlerChrysler Berlin Prize, American Academy
2003–2004Fellow, Institute for Advanced Studies, Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg)
2006Cognitive Science Distinguished Lectureship, Michigan State Univ.
2006, MayGuest Professorship, École Normale Supérieure, Paris
2007Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science