Dr. Seung-Goo Kim

Main Research Area 

  • Neural encoding of naturalistic music and speech
  • Shared neural mechanism of musical emotion and prosody
  • Intersubject variability in musical reward sensitivity
  • Neural processing of temporal structures in music and speech
  • Functional and anatomical correlates of pitch perception


Academic Education

2012–2017Dr. rer. nat. in Psychology, University of Leipzig and MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig (Topic: Myeloarchitecture of Absolute Pitch)
2008–2010Master of Science in Cognitive Science, Seoul National University, South Korea (Topic: MEG responses to conditional probabilities of chord progressions)
2000–2004Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Psychology (dual majors), Yonsei University, South Korea
1996–1999Musical Composition, Sunwha Arts High School, South Korea


since 2021Postdoctoral Researcher, MPI for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt Main (PI: Daniela Sammler)
2018–2021Postdoctoral Researcher, Duke University, NC, USA (PI: Tobias Overath)
2017–2018Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom (PI: Valerie Voon)
2017Postdoctoral Researcher, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig (PI: Thomas Fritz)
2012–2016Ph.D. Student, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig (PI: Thomas Knösche)
2010–2012Graduate researcher, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Seoul National University, South Korea (PIs: Dr. Moo K. Chung and Dr. Jun Soo Kwon)


Journal Articles

Leahy J*, Kim S-G*, Wan J, Overath T. (2021). An Analytical Framework of Tonal and Rhythmic Hierarchy in Natural Music Using the Multivariate Temporal Response Function. Frontiers in Neuroscience 15:665767. *equal contr.

Weidacker K*, Kim S-G*, Callesen MB, Thomsen KR, Voon V. (2021). Insular and subcallosal cingulate myeloarchitecture and prediction of resilience of alcohol drinking behaviours in youth. Psychological Medicine. *equal contr.

Zhang C*, Kim S-G*, Li J, Zhang Y, Lv Q, Zeljic K, Gong H, Zhan, Jin H, Sun B, Wang Z, Voon V. (2021). Large-scale tractography of the anterior limb of the internal capsule: predictors of capsulotomy outcomes in obsessive compulsive disorder. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. *equal contr.

Kim S-G, Poeppel D, Overath T. (2019). Modulation change detection in human auditory cortex: Evidence for asymmetric, nonlinear edge detection. European Journal of Neuroscience 52(2):2889–2904.

Kim S-G, Mueller K, Lepsien J, Mildner T, Fritz TH. (2019). Brain networks underlying aesthetic appreciation as modulated by interaction of the spectral and temporal organisations of music. Scientific Reports 9: 19446.

Zhang C, Kim S-G, Zhang YY, Li Y, Yan FH, Voon V, Sun BM. (2019). Habenula deep brain stimulation for refractory bipolar disorder. Brain Stimulation.

Mandali A, Weidacker K, Kim S-G, Voon V. (2019). The ease and sureness of a decision: evidence accumulation of conflict and uncertainty. Brain 142 (5): 1471–1482.

Nord C*, Kim S-G*, Thomsen KR, Callesen MB, Kvamme TL, Jensen M, Pedersen MU, Voon V. (2019). The myeloarchitecture of impulsivity: premature responding in youth is associated with decreased myelination of ventral putamen. Neuropsychopharmacology 44: 1216–1223. *equal contr.

Kim S-G, Knoesche TR. (2017). On the perceptual subprocess of absolute pitch. Frontiers in Neuroscience 11:557.

Kim S-G, Lepsien J, Fritz TH, Mildner T, Mueller K. (2017). Dissonance encoding in human inferior colliculus covaries with individual differences in dislike of dissonant music. Scientific Reports 7: 5726.

Kim S-G, Knoesche TR. (2017). Resting state functional connectivity of the ventral auditory pathway in musicians with absolute pitch. Human Brain Mapping.

Yoon YB, Shin W-G, Lee TY, Hur J-W, Cho KIK, Sohn WS, Kim S-G, Lee K-H, Kwon JS. (2017). Brain Structural Networks Associated with Intelligence and Visuomotor Ability. Scientific Reports 7: 2177.

Bianco R, Novembre G, Keller P, Kim S-G, Scharf F, Friederici A, Villringer A, Sammler D. (2016). Neural networks for harmonic structure in music perception and action. Neuroimage 142:454-464.

Kim S-G, Knoesche TR. (2016). Intracortical myelination in musicians with absolute pitch: quantitative morphometry using 7-T MRI. Human Brain Mapping 37(10): 3486–3501.

Kim S-G, Kim SN, Jung WH, Jang JH, Kwon JS. (2015). Alterations of structural networks in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder: A multimodal analysis of MRI and DTI using mCCA+jICA. PLoS One 10(6): e0127118.

Kim S-G, Jung WH, Kim SN, Jang JH, Kwon JS. (2013). Disparity between dorsal and ventral networks in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder: Evidence revealed by graph theoretical analysis based on cortical thickness from MRI. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7:302.

Kim S-G, Kim JS, Chung CK. (2011). The effect of conditional probability of chord progression on brain response: an MEG study. PLoS One 6(2): e17337.


Peer-reviewed Conference Articles

Chung MK, Kim S-G, Schaefer SM, van Reekum CM, Peschke-Scmitz L, Sutterer M, Davidson RJ. (2014). Improved statistical power with a sparse shape model in determining aging effect in hippocampus and amygdala. In proceedings of SPIE 9034, Medical Imaging 2014: Image Processing, 90340Y.

Kim S-G, Stelzer J, Bazin P-L, Viehweger A, Knösche TR. (2014). Group-wise analysis on myelination profiles of cerebral cortex using the second eigenvector of Laplace-Beltrami operator. In proceedings of the 11th IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI), pp 1007-1010.

Kim S-G, Lee H, Chung MK, Hanson JL, Avants BB, Gee JC, Davidson RJ, Pollak SD. (2012). Agreement between the white matter connectivity based on the tensor-based morphometry and the volumetric white matter parcellations based on diffusion tensor imaging. In proceedings of the 9th IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI), pp 42-45.

Kim S-G, Chung MK, Schaefer SM, van Reekum CM, Davidson RJ. (2012). Sparse shape representation using the Laplace-Beltrami eigenfunctions and its application to modeling subcortical structures. In proceedings of IEEE workshop on Mathematical Methods in Biomedical Image Analysis (MMBIA), pp 25-32.

Kim S-G, Chung MK, Seo SH, Schaefer SM, van Reekum CM, Davidson RJ. (2011). Heat kernel smoothing via Laplace-Beltrami eigenfunctions and its application to subcortical structure modeling. In Pacific-Rim Symposium on Image and Video Technology (PSIVT), Part 1, Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), 7087: pp 36-57.

Kim S-G, Chung MK, Hanson JL, Avants BB, Gee JC, Davidson RJ, Pollak SD. (2011). Structural connectivity via the tensor-based morphometry. In proceedings of the 8th IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI), pp 808-811.

Grants & Awards

Grants and Awards

2021Postdoc Research Grant Award, The Charles Lafitte Foundation Program for Research in Psychology & Neuroscience, Duke University, NC, USA
2017Summa cum laude, PhD examination, Institute of Psychology. University of Leipzig, Germany
2014Conference Scholarship, The 5th Conference for Neurosciences and Music, Mariani Foundation, Italy
2010Best Poster Presentation Award, The Biannual Meeting of Korean Society of Human Brain Mapping, South Korea