Dr. Iris Mencke

Research Focus

  • Aesthetic experience in contemporary classical music
  • Electrophysiological correlates and neural substrates of musical expectancy and musical pleasure
  • Music perception



Academic Education


M.A. Musicology, Humboldt-University, Berlin
Thesis: Expecting the Unexpected – Approaches to a Theory about the Musical Pleasure of Serial Music


B.A. German studies / Musicology, University of Potsdam
Thesis: Emergence as a Phenomenon of Multimedia


Since 2016

Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Department of Music, Frankfurt am Main, Germany


Visiting Researcher at the Center for Music in the Brain, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark


Placement Student at the Music, Mind & Brain group, Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, United Kingdom




Mencke, I., Quiroga-Martinez, D. R., Omigie, D., Michalareas, G., Schwarzacher, F., Trusbak Haumann, N., Vuust, P., & Brattico, E. (2021). Prediction under uncertainty: Dissociating sensory from cognitive expectations in highly uncertain musical contexts. Brain Research,1773: 147664. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2021.147664.

Mencke, I., Omigie, D., Wald-Fuhrmann, M., & Brattico, E. (2018). Atonal music: Can uncertainty lead to pleasure? Frontiers in Auditory Cognitive Neurosciencedoi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00979.

Conference Papers

Mencke, I., Seibert, C., Brattico, E., Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (2019). Can Uncertainty lead to Pleasure? The Case of Contemporary Classical Music. Interdisciplinarity Revisited, International symposium organised by the Volkswagen foundation, Berlin, Germany.

Mencke, I., Seibert, C., Brattico, E., Wald-Fuhrmann, M. (2018). Aesthetic experience and musical pleasure in modern music – an interview study. 15th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition / 10th triennial conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music, Graz.

Floridou, G. A., Mencke, I., Caprini, F., Williamson, V., Müllensiefen, D. (2017). Novel involuntary musical imagery: The genesis of a tune in the mind.25th Anniversary Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music, Ghent.


Fischinger, T. & Mencke, I. (forthcoming). Some Psychological Constraints and Mechanisms for the Perception and Cognition of Time and Rhythm. In H. Neuhoff & R. Polak (Eds.), Musical Meter in Comparative Perspective - Theoretical Discourse and Case Studies from Various Cultures. Köln: Dohr.


Awards & Grants

Awards & Grants


Travel grant, Volkswagen Foundation, Symposium ‘Interdisciplinarity Revisited’ at Humboldt Forum, Berlin, Germany

2017Travel grant, Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University; for a 6-months research stay at the 'Center for Music in the Brain', Department of Clinical Medicin, Aarhus University, Denmark


Research Training Supplement of the Graduate School of Health Science (Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark)


DAAD stipend (PROMOS program) for research stay at the Music, Mind and Brain group, Goldsmiths, University of London



DAAD stipend for a research stay in Milano, Italy