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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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., 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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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