Pauline Larrouy-Maestri, PhD

Main research areas

  • Auditory processing in language and music
  • Music perception/ evaluation/ preference
  • Singing performance
  • Melodic representation in speech prosody

Personal Website:


Academic Education


Post-doctoral visit (6 months) at McGill University, School of Communication, Montreal, Canada (Lab director: Marc Pell)

2014Post-doctoral visit (6 months) at the Auditory Perception and Action Laboratory, State University of New York at Buffalo, US
2009–2013Ph.D. in Psychology, University of Liège, Belgium
2006–2010Bachelor in Music (instrument: piano), Royal Conservatory of Mons, Belgium
2007–2009Master in Speech Therapy, University of Brussels (ULB), Belgium
2005–2007Bachelor in Speech Therapy, University of Brussels (ULB), Belgium
2003–2005Bachelor in Psychology, University of Toulouse (Mirail), France
2002–2004Bachelor in Pedagogy, University of Toulouse (Mirail), France
1999–2003University Degree in Music Therapy, University of Montpellier (Paul-Valéry), France


Since 2019Senior Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics
2014–2019Postdoc Researcher in the Neuroscience Department of the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics
2009–2014Assistant at the Psychology Department, University of Liège, Belgium
2009–2011Speech Therapist (freelance)
1999–2009Music performer, music teacher (freelance)



Ozaki, Y., Tierney, A., Pfordresher, P. Q., McBride, J., Benetos, E., Proutskova, P., et al. (2024). Globally, songs and instrumental melodies are slower, higher, and use more stable pitches than speech: A registered report. Science Advances,10(20): eadm9797. doi:10.1126/sciadv.adm9797.

Teng, X., Larrouy-Maestri, P., & Poeppel, D. (2024). Segmenting and predicting musical phrase structure exploits neural gain modulation and phase precession (accepted manuscript). The Journal of Neuroscience, e1331232024. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1331-23.2024.

Bruder, C., Poeppel, D., & Larrouy-Maestri, P. (2024). Perceptual (but not acoustic) features predict singing voice preferences. Scientific Reports, 14(1), 8977. doi:10.1038/s41598-024-58924-9

Tan, Y., Sun, Z., Teng, X., Larrouy-Maestri, P., Duan, F., & Aoki, S. (2024). Effective network analysis in music listening based on electroencephalogram. Computers and Electrical Engineering117, 109191. doi: 10.1016/j.compeleceng.2024.109191

Larrouy-Maestri, P., Poeppel, D., & Pell, M. (2024) The sound of emotional prosody: Nearly three decades of research and future directions. Perspective on Psychological Science. doi:10.1177/17456916231217722 

Larrouy-Maestri, P., Kegel, V., Schlotz, W., van Rijn, P., Menninghaus, W., & Poeppel, D. (2023). Ironic Twists of Sentence Meaning Can Be Signaled by Forward Move of Prosodic Stress. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Advance Online Publication. doi: 10.1037/xge0001377

van Rijn, P., Larrouy-Maestri, P. (2023). Modelling individual and cross-cultural variation in the mapping of emotions to speech prosody. Nature Human Behaviour 7, 386–396.

Teng, X., Larrouy-Maestri, P., & Poeppel, D. (preprint). Musical phrasal segmentation and structural prediction underpinned by neural modulation and phase precession at ultra-low frequencies. doi:

Fink, L., Durojaye, C., Roeske, T., Wald-Fuhrmann, M., & Larrouy-Maestri, P. (2022). The dùndún drum helps us understand how we process speech and music. Frontiers for Young Minds, section Neuroscience and Psychology.

Holz, N., Larrouy-Maestri, P., & Poeppel, D. (2022). The variably intense vocalizations of affect and emotion (VIVAE) corpus prompts new perspective on nonspeech perception. Emotion, 22(1), 213–225.

Larrouy-Maestri, P., Wang, X., Vairo Nunes, R., & Poeppel, D. (In press). Are you your best judge?: On the self-evaluation of singing. Journal of Voice

Larrouy-Maestri, P., Poeppel, D., & Pfordresher. (2022). Pitch units in music and speech prosody. In How language speaks to music: prosody from a cross-domain perspective, Richard Wiese, Mathias Scharinger Eds. doi: 10.1515/9783110770186

Holz, N., Larrouy-Maestri, P., & Poeppel, D. (2021). The paradoxical role of emotional intensity in the perception of vocal affect. Scientific Reports 119663

Durojaye, C. Fink, L., Roeske, T., Wald-Fuhrmann, M., Larrouy-Maestri, P. (2021). Perception of Nigerian Dùndún Talking Drum Performances as Speech-Like vs. Music-Like: The Role of Familiarity and Acoustic Cues, Frontiers in Psychology, 12:652673. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.652673

Harrison, P., Marjieh, R., Adolfi, F., van Rijn, P., Anglada-Tort, M., Tchernichovski, O., Larrouy-Maestri, P. & Jacoby, N. (2020). Gibbs Sampling with people. Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems, 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

Larrouy-Maestri, P. (2020). Evaluation tools in singing education. In The Routledge Companion to Interdisciplinary Studies in Singing, Volume II: Education, Eds. H.R. Gudmundsdottir, C. Beyron, & A.J. Cohen. 

Roeske, T.C., Larrouy-Maestri, P., Sakamoto, Y., & Poeppel, D. (2020). Listening to birdsong reveals basic features of rate perception and aesthetic judgements. Proceedings of the Royal Society B287(1923), 20193010.

Larrouy-Maestri, P., Harrison, P.M.C., & Müllensiefen, D. (2019). The Mistuning Perception Test: A new measurement instrument. Behavior Research Methods, 51(2), 663-675. doi: 10.3758/s13428-019-01225-1

Ayoub, M-R., Larrouy-Maestri, P., & Morsomme. (2019). The effect of smoking on the fundamental frequency of the speaking voice. Journal of Voice, 33(5), 11-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2018.04.001 

Larrouy-Maestri, P., & Pfordresher, P. (2018). Pitch perception in music: Do scoops matter? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 44(10), 1523-1541.doi: 10.1037/xhp0000550

Larrouy-Maestri, P. (2018). “I know it when I hear it”: On listeners’ perception of mistuning. Music & Science, 1, 1-17. doi: 10.1177/2059204318784582 

Merrill, J., & Larrouy-Maestri, P. (2017) Vocal features of song and speech: Insights from Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire. Frontiers in Psychology, 8:1108. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01108

Larrouy-Maestri, P. (2017). The influence of non-musical variables on the evaluation of vocal pitch accuracy. CFMAE Interdisciplinary Journal for Music and Art Pedagogy, Special Issue on Singing & Voice, 9, 123-141.

Larrouy-Maestri, P., Morsomme, D. Magis, D., & Poeppel, D. (2017). Lay listeners can evaluate the pitch accuracy of operatic voices. Music Perception,34(4), 489-495. doi:10.1525/MP.2017.34.4.489

Larrouy-Mestri, P. (2016). Justesse en voix chantée: bien évaluer pour bien guider. In De la voix parlée au chant, Claire Klein-Dallant Ed., ISBN: 978-1-234-56789-7. Pp. 515-522.

Larrouy-Maestri, P. (2015). Influence du stress sur la voix parlée et chantée. Langage et pratiques, 56, 33-42.

Larrouy-Maestri P., Magis D., Grabenhorst M., Morsomme D. (2015). Layman versus Professional Musician: Who Makes the Better Judge? PLoS ONE, 10(8): e0135394. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135394

Pfordresher, P. Q., & Larrouy-Maestri, P. (2015). On drawing a line through the spectrogram: How do we understand deficits of vocal pitch imitation? Frontiers in Human Neuroscience,9. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00271

Hutchins, S., Larrouy-Maestri, P., & Peretz, I. (2014). Singing ability is rooted in vocal-motor control of pitch. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics76(8), 2522-2530. doi: 10.3758/s13414-014-0732-1

Larrouy-Maestri, P., Magis, D., & Morsomme, D. (2014). The evaluation of vocal accuracy: The case of operatic singing voices. Music Perception, 32(1), 1-10. doi: 10.1525/MP.2014.32.1.1

Larrouy-Maestri, P., Magis, D., & Morsomme, D. (2014). The effect of melody and technique on the singing voice accuracy of trained singers. Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology, 39, 126-129. doi: 10.3109/14015439.2013.777112

Larrouy-Maestri, P., Magis, D., & Morsomme, D. (2014). Effects of melody and technique on acoustical and musical features of Western operatic singing voices. Journal of Voice, 28(3), 332-340. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2013.10.019

Larrouy-Maestri, P., & Morsomme, D. (2014). Criteria and tools for objectively analysing the vocal accuracy of a popular song. Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology, 39, 11-18. doi: 10.3109/14015439.2012.696139

Larrouy-Maestri, P., & Morsomme, D. (2014). The effects of stress on singing voice accuracy. Journal of Voice, 28(1), 52-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2013.07.008

Larrouy-Maestri, P. (2013). Evaluer la justesse d’une performance vocale mélodique. Cahiers de l’ASELF, 10(4), 3-13.

Larrouy-Maestri, P., Lévêque, Y., Schön, D., Giovanni, A., & Morsomme, D. (2013). The evaluation of singing voice accuracy: A comparison between subjective and objective methods. Journal of Voice, 27(2), 259e1-e5. doi: 10.1016/j.jvoice.2012.11.003

Larrouy-Maestri, P., Leybaert, J., & Kolinsky, R. (2013). The benefit of musical and linguistic expertise on language acquisition in sung material. Musicae Scientae, 17(2), 217-228. doi: 10.1177/1029864912473470



Awards & Grants

Awards & Grants


Research scholarship of €20,000 awarded to conduct the project "Humanity of Speech", by Imminent - Translated Research Center, in the category Human-Computer interaction.


Nominated and selected for “Sign Up! Careerbuilding for outstanding female post docs in the MPG”

2016Young Investigator Award from the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE) and the International Conference for Music Perception and Cognition (ICMPC14)
2015Merit scholarship program for foreign students (Bourses d´excellence pour étudiants étrangers, PBEEE) from the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies (> Research stay at McGill University, School of Communication, under the supervision of Prof. Marc Pell)
2013Patrimoine de l´Université de Liège and FNRS fundings (> Post doctoral training at the APAL Laboratory at the University at Buffalo (USA) under the supervision of Prof. Peter Pfordresher)
2011Grant at the "Concours de bourses de voyage" from the French Community of Belgium (> Doctoral training at the BRAMS Laboratory at Montreal under the supervision of Prof. Isabelle Peretz and Dr. Sean Hutchins




  • Sounds and meanings

    Whether it is music, speech, screams, or environmental sounds, we categorize acoustic information that unfolds over time to make sense of sounds. ...