Prof. Dr. Mathias Scharinger

Research Interests

  • Categorization of acoustic information
  • Neural bases of speech sound representation
  • Predictive mechanisms in speech and language


Academic Education

2016Habilitation in Linguistics, University of Potsdam, Germany
2007Ph.D. Psycho/Neurolinguistic, University of Konstanz, Germany

Professional Experience

since 04/2017Professor of Phonetics in the Institute for German Linguistics at the University of Marburg, Germany
10/2015–03/2017Research Group Leader at the Max-Planck-Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
07/2014–09/2015Senior Research Fellow, University of Leipzig, Cognitive and Biological Psychology
01/2014–06/2014Senior Research Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2014Projecet leader DFG-Project (University of Leipzig): Global and local aspects of temporal and lexical predictions for speech processing
2011–2013Post-Doc at the Max-Planck-Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Science, Leipzig, Germany
2009–2010Post-Doc, University of Maryland, USA
2008Research Fellow/Lecturer, University of Konstanz, Germany


Articles (in peer-reviewed journals)

Scharinger, M., Knoop, C. A., Wagner, V., & Menninghaus, W. (2022). Neural processing of poems and songs is based on melodic properties. Neuroimage, 257, Article 119310. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2022.119310 

Scharinger, M., Wagner, V., Knoop, C. A., & Menninghaus, W. (2022). Melody in poems and songs: Fundamental statistical properties predict aesthetic evaluation. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/aca0000465 

Henrich, K., & Scharinger, M. (2022). Predictive Processing in Poetic Language: Event-Related Potentials Data on Rhythmic Omissions in Metered Speech. Frontiers in Psychology,12, Article 782765. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.782765.

Franz, I., Knoop, C. A., Kentner, G., Rothbart, S., Kegel, V., Vasilieva, J., Methner, S., Scharinger, M., & Menninghaus, W. (2022). Prosodic Phrasing and Syllable Prominence in Spoken Prose. A Validated Coding Manual. OSF Preprints.doi:10.31219/ 

Riedinger, M., Nagels, A., Werth, A., & Scharinger, M. (2021). Asymmetries in Accessing Vowel Representations Are Driven by Phonological and Acoustic Properties: Neural and Behavioral Evidence From Natural German Minimal Pairs. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 15, Article 612345. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2021.612345

Thissen, B. A. K., Schlotz, W., Abel, C., Scharinger, M., Frieler, K., Merrill, J., Haider, T., & Menninghaus, W. (2021). At the Heart of Optimal Reading Experiences: Cardiovascular Activity and Flow Experiences in Fiction Reading. Reading Research Quarterly.  10.1002/rrq.448 

Wagner, V., Scharinger, M., Knoop, C. A., & Menninghaus, W. (2021). Effects of continuous self-reporting on aesthetic evaluation and emotional responses. Poetics, 85, Article 101497. doi:10.1016/j.poetic.2020.101497 

Blohm, S., Schlesewsky, M., Menninghaus, W., & Scharinger, M. (2021). Text type attribution modulates pre-stimulus alpha power in sentence reading. Brain and Language, 214, e104894.  doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2020.104894

Tavano, A., Blohm, S., Knoop, C. A., Muralikrishnan, R., Scharinger, M., Wagner, V., et al. (2020). Neural harmonics reflect grammaticality. bioRxiv - The Preprint Server for Biology, Preprint. Retrieved from Neural harmonics reflect grammaticality | bioRxiv

Auracher, J., Menninghaus, W., & Scharinger, M. (2020). Sound Predicts Meaning: Cross-Modal Associations Between Formant Frequency and Emotional Tone in Stanzas. Cognitive Science,44(10), Article e12906.  doi:10.1111/cogs.12906

Frank, M., Muhlack, B., Zebe, F., & Scharinger, M. (2020). Contributions of pitch and spectral information to cortical vowel categorization. Journal of Phonetics, 79, 1–13.  doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2020.100963

Scharinger, M. (2019). Abstractions, predictions, and speech sound representations. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, accepted commentary, forthcoming.

Auracher, J., Scharinger, M., & Menninghaus, W. (2019). Contiguity-based sound iconicity: The meaning of words resonates with phonetic properties of their immediate verbal contexts. Plos One14(5), Article e0216930. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0216930

Zimmerer, F., Scharinger, M., Cornell, S., Reetz, H., & Eulitz, C. (2019). Neural mechanisms for coping with acoustically reduced speech. Brain and Language, 191, 46–57.  doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2019.02.001

Menninghaus, W., Wagner, V., Knoop, C. A., & Scharinger, M. (2018). Poetic speech melody: A crucial link between music and language. Plos One, 13(11), Article e0205980.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0205980

Kraxenberger, M., Menninghaus, W., Roth, A., & Scharinger, M. (2018). Prosody-Based Sound-Emotion Associations in Poetry. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, Article 1284. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01284

Schuster, S., Scharinger, M., Brooks, C., Lahiri, A., & Hartwigsen, G. (2018). The neural correlates of morphological complexity processing: Detecting structure in pseudowords. Human Brain Mapping, 39(6), 2317–2328. doi:10.1002/hbm.23975 

Scharinger, M., Steinberg, J., & Tavano, A. (2017). Integrating speech in time depends on temporal expectancies and attention. Cortex, 93, 28–40. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2017.05.001

Scharinger, M., Domahs, U., Klein, E., & Domahs, F. (2016). Mental representations of vowel features asymmetrically modulate activity in superior temporal sulcus. Brain and Language, 163, 42–49. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2016.09.002

Scharinger, M., Monahan, P. J., & Idsardi, W. J. (2016). Linguistic category structure influences early auditory processing: Converging evidence from mismatch responses and cortical oscillations. NeuroImage, 128, 293–301. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.01.003

Scharinger, M., Bendixen, A., Herrmann, B., Henry, M.J., Mildner, T. & Obleser, J. (2016). Predictions interact with missing sensory evidence in semantic processing areas. Human Brain Mapping, 37(2), 704–716. doi:10.1002/hbm.23060

Tavano, A., & Scharinger, M. (2015). Prediction in speech and language processing. Cortex, 68(0), 1–7. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2015.05.001

Lago, S., Scharinger, M., Kronrod, Y., & Idsardi, W. J. (2015). Categorical effects in fricative perception are reflected in cortical source information. Brain and Language, 143, 52–58. doi:10.1016/j.bandl.2015.02.003

Strauß, A., Henry, M. J., Scharinger, M., & Obleser, J. (2015). Alpha Phase Determines Successful Lexical Decision in Noise. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35(7), 3256–3262. doi:10.1523/jneurosci.3357-14.2015

Scharinger, M., Henry, M.J., & Obleser, J. (2015). Acoustic cue selection and discrimination under degradation: Differential contributions of inferior parietal and posterior temporal cortex. NeuroImage, 106, 373–381. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.11.050

Herrmann, B., Henry, M. J., Scharinger, M., & Obleser, J. (2014). Supplementary motor area activations predict individual differences in temporal-change sensitivity and its illusory distortions. NeuroImage, 101, 370–379. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.07.026

Scharinger, M., Herrmann, B., Nierhaus, T., & Obleser, J. (2014). Simultaneous EEG-fMRI brain signatures of auditory cue utilization. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 8, Article 137.  doi:10.3389/fnins.2014.00137

Strauss, A., Kotz, S. A., Scharinger, M., & Obleser, J. (2014). Alpha and theta brain oscillations index dissociable processes in spoken word recognition. NeuroImage, 97, 387–395. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.04.005

Zimmerer, F., Scharinger, M., & Reetz, H. (2014). Phonological and morphological constraints on German /t/-deletions. Journal of Phonetics, 45(0), 64–75. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2014.03.006

Scharinger, M. & Idsardi, W. (2014). Sparseness of vowel category structure: Evidence from English dialect comparison. Lingua, 140, 35–51. doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2013.11.007

Scharinger, M., Henry, M., Meyer, L., Erb, J. & Obleser, J. (2014). Thalamic and parietal brain morphology predicts auditory category learning. Neuropsychologia, 53, 75–83. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.09.012

Bendixen, A., Scharinger, M., Strauss, A., & Obleser, J. (2014). Prediction in the service of comprehension: modulated early brain responses to omitted speech segments. Cortex, 53, 9–26. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2014.01.001

Herrmann, B., Henry, M., Scharinger, M. & Obleser, J. (2013). Auditory filter width affects response magnitude but not frequency specificity in auditory cortex. Hearing Research, 304, 128–136. doi:10.1016/j.heares.2013.07.005

Scharinger, M., Henry, M. & Obleser, J. (2013). Prior experience with negative spectral correlations promotes information-integration during auditory category learning. Memory & Cognition,41(5), 752–768. doi:10.3758/s13421-013-0294-9

Book Chapters

Blohm, S., Kraxenberger, M., Knoop, C. A., & Scharinger, M. (2021). Sound Shape and Sound Effects of Literary Texts. In D. Kuiken, & A. M. Jacobs (Eds.), Handbook of Empirical Literary Studies (pp. 7-38). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. doi:10.1515/9783110645958-002

Scharinger, M. (2020). Sprache und Musik aus der Sicht der Neurokognition: Sprechen, Singen und Melodie als verbindendes Element. In C. Philipsen & U. Omonsky (Eds.), Das Melodram in Geschichte und Aufführungspraxis (pp. 335–374). Augsburg: Wißner-Verlag.

Scharinger, M. (2019). Melodie. In P. Nicklas (Ed.), Literatur und Musik im Künstevergleich. Empirische und hermeneutische Methoden (pp. 35–57). Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter.

Scharinger, M. (2018). Neural bases of phonological representations: Empirical approaches and methods. In C. Ulbrich, A. Werth & R. Wiese (Eds.), Empirical approaches to the phonological structure of words (pp. 241–272). Berlin, Boston: Walter de Gruyter GmbH.

Scharinger, M. (2017). Are there brain bases for phonological markedness? In B. D. Samuels (Ed.), Beyond Markedness in Formal Phonology (pp. 191–218). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Scharinger, M. (2016). Ungestörte Lautverarbeitung. In U. Domahs & B. Primus (Eds.), Handbuch Laut, Gebärde, Buchstabe (Vol. 2, pp. 163–181). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.


  • Prose Rhythm

    Latin rhetoric considered the artistic treatment of linguistic rhythm as a potent rhetorical feature not only of verse, but also of literary, philosophical and oratorical prose. However, it failed to push the analysis of prose rhythm beyond ...

  • Lyrical speech melody

    Since antiquity, poets have been likened to singers. The Romantic understanding of poetry has further reinforced the analogies between music and poetry. Our project investigates the extent to which this analogy can be pushed beyond meter and rhyme to ...

  • Neuronal Processing of Metaphorical Movement

    This study uses EEG to examine the neuronal processing of verbs which reference physical movement in metaphorical and literal contexts. Rhetorical theory suggests that a language rich in imagery supports an especially lively cognitive and affective ...