Dr. Stefan Blohm


Research Interests

  • poetic license (morphosyntactic aspects)
  • aesthetic effects of grammatical deviation in poetic texts
  • genre-specific language processing
  • the psychology of poetic rhyme


Academic Education

04/2019Dr. phil., Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany
Since 2013PhD candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
06/2013M.A. General Linguistics/British Studies, JGU Mainz, Germany

Professional Experience

since 09/2021Excellence Initiative Fellow, Centre for Language Studies (CLS), Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands
since 08/2021Visiting Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
02/2020–03/2020Visiting Scholar, Language and Brain Lab (Prof. A. Lahiri), University of Oxford, Oxford (UK)
01/2020–02/2020Visiting Scholar, School of Humanities (Prof. N. Fabb), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (UK)
11/2017–08/2021Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2013–10/2017Scholarship at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt am Main, Germany


 Articles (in peer-reviewed journals)

Blohm, S., Versace, S., Methner, S., Wagner, V., Schlesewsky, M., & Menninghaus, W. (2022). Reading Poetry and Prose: Eye Movements and Acoustic Evidence. Discourse Processes, 1-25. doi:10.1080/0163853X.2021.2015188.

Knoop, C. A., Blohm, S., Kraxenberger, M., & Menninghaus, W. (2021). How perfect are imperfect rhymes? Effects of phonological similarity and verse context on rhyme perception. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 15(3), 560­–572.  doi:10.1037/aca0000277

Blohm, S., Schlesewsky, M., Menninghaus, W., & Scharinger, M. (2021). Text type attribution modulates pre-stimulus alpha power in sentence reading. Brain and Language, 214, Article  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

Teng, X., Ma, M., Yang, J., Blohm, S., Cai, Q., & Tian, X. (2020). Constrained Structure of Ancient Chinese Poetry Facilitates Speech Content Grouping. Current Biology, 30(7), 1299–1305, Article e1297. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.01.059

Blohm, S., Wagner, V., Schlesewsky, M., & Menninghaus, W. (2018). Sentence judgments and the grammar of poetry: Linking linguistic structure and poetic effect. Poetics, 69, 41–56.  doi:10.1016/j.poetic.2018.04.005

Blohm, S., Menninghaus, W., & Schlesewsky, M. (2017). Sentence-level effects of literary genre: Behavioral and electrophysiological evidence. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, Article 1887.  doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01887

Book Chapter

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

Menninghaus, W., & Blohm, S. (2020). Empirical Aesthetics of Poetry. In M. Nadal & O. Vartanian (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Empirical Aesthetics (pp. 1–20). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198824350.013.33


Blohm, S. (2020). Literary Psycholinguistics and the Poem. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Mainz)https://publications.ub.uni-mainz.de/theses/frontdoor.php?source_opus=100003271


  • Poetic Licenses

    This project investigates the processing effects of linguistic deviations in poetry and, specifically, their contribution to aesthetic evaluation. Formal and semantic/conceptual detours from normal language use seem to typify poetry to such an extent ...