Prof. Lucia Melloni, PhD

Main Research Areas

  • Domain-general cortical computations
  • Neural mechanisms by which the brain predictively controls sensory processing and perception
  • Brain mechanism subserving language comprehension
  • Possibilities and limits of brain plasticity to restore cognitive functions




PhD in Psychology, Catholic University, Santiago, Chile & Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Summa cum laude 


BA in Psychology (equivalent to MS) Catholic University, Santiago, Chile 1995 BA Social Sciences and Humanities Catholic University, Santiago, Chile 



W2 Group Leader (Tenure), Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Department of Neuroscience


Director of Intracranial Neurophysiology, New York University (NYU) School of Medicine, Department of Neurology 


Visiting Scientist, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Department of Neuroscience
2012–presentAssistant Professor, New York University (NYU) School of Medicine, Department of Neurology


Research Scientist, Columbia University, Department of Psychiatry/Neurosurgery

2008–2017Group Leader, Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, Department of Neurophysiology


Postdoctoral Fellow, Goethe University, Department of Neurology, Laboratory of Cognitive Neurology  





Ausgewählte Publikationen 

International Peer-reviewed Journals

Henin S, Borges Delfino de Souza H, Shankar A, Sarac C, Melloni L, Friedman D, Flinker A, Parra L, Buzsáki G, Devinsky O, Liu A (2019). Closed-loop acoustic stimulation enhances sleep oscillations but not memory performance. eNeuro, pii: ENEURO.0306-19.2019. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0306-19.2019. 

Peviani V, Melloni L* and Bottini G*. (2019). Visual and somatosensory information contribute to distortions of the body model. Scientific Reports, 9;9(1):13570. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-49979-0 (*shared last authorship).

Gabriel P, Chen K, Alasfour A, Pailla T, Doyle W, Devinsky O, Friedman D, Dugan, P, Melloni L, Thesen T, Gonda D, Sattar S, Wang S, Gilja V (2019). Neural correlates of unstructured motor behaviors. Journal of neural engineering, 16(6):066026. doi: 10.1088/1741-2552/ab355c. 

Michel M, Beck D, Block N, Blumenfeld H, Brown R, Carmel D, Carrasco M,  Chirimuuta M, Chun M, Cleeremans A, Dehaene S, Fleming S.M. Frith C, Haggard P, He B, Heyes C, Goodale, M.A, Irvine L, Kawato M, Kentridge R, King JR, Knight R.T, Kouider S, Lamme V, Lamy D, Lau H, Laureys S, LeDoux J, Lin Y, Liu K, S, Martinez-Conde S, Mashour G.A, Melloni L, Miracchi L, Mylopoulos M, Lionel Naccache L, Owen A.A, Passingham D. E, Pessoa L, Peters M.A.K, Rahnev D, Ro T, Rosenthal D, Sasaki Y, Sergent C, Solovey G, Schiff N.D, Seth A, Tallon-Baudry C, Tamietto M, Tong F, van Gaal S, Alexandra Vlassova A, Watanabe T, Weisberg J, Yan K,Yoshida M (2019) Opportunities and Challenges for a Maturing Science of Consciousness. Nature Human Behaviour, 3(2):104-107. doi: 10.1038/s41562-019-0531-8.

Henin S, Shankar A, Hasulak N, Friedman D, Dugan P, Melloni L, Flinker A, Sarac C, Fang M, Doyle W, Tcheng T, Devinsky O, Davachi L, Liu A (2019). Hippocampal gamma predicts associative memory performance as measured by acute and chronic intracranial EEG. Scientific Report, 9(1):593. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-37561-z.

Alasfour A, Gabriel P, Jiang X, Shamie I, Melloni L, Thesen T, Dugan P, Friedman D, Doyle W, Devinsky O, Sattar S, Gonda D, Halgren E, Gilja V (2019). Coarse Behavioral Context Decoding. Journal of Neural Engineering, 16(1):016021. doi: 10.1088/1741-2552/aaee9c. 

Liu A, Mihály Vöröslakos M, Kronberg G, Simon Henin S, Krause M.R, Huang Y, Opitz A, Mehta A, Pack C.C, Krekelberg B, Parra L, Berényi A, Melloni L, Devinsky, O and Buzsáki G (2018) Immediate neurophysiological effects of transcranial electrical stimulation. Nature Communications, 9(1):5092. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07233-7. 

Chen K, Gabriel P, Alasfour A, Gong C, Doyle WK, Devinsky O, Friedman D, Dugan P, Melloni L, Thesen T, Gonda D, Sattar S, Wang S, Gilja V (2018). Patient-Specific Pose Estimation in Clinical Environments. IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine, 6:2101111. doi: 10.1109/JTEHM.2018.2875464.

Schwiedrzik CM, Sudmann SS, Thesen T, Wang X, Groppe DM, Mégevand P, Doyle W, Mehta AD, Devinsky O, Melloni L (2018) Medial prefrontal cortex supports perceptual memory. Current Biology, 28(18):R1094-R1095. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2018.07.066.

Auksztulewicz R, Schwiedrzik CM, Thesen T, Doyle W, Devinsky O, Nobre AC, Schroeder CE, Friston KJ, Melloni L.(2018) Dissociable neural processing of “what” and “when” predictability in the auditory system. Journal of Neuroscience, Aug 24. pii: 0369-18. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0369-18.2018. 

Schwiedrzik CM, Melloni L, Schurger A (2018) Mooney face stimuli for visual perception research.  Plos One. 2018 Jul 6;13(7):e0200106. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200106. 

Ding N, Melloni L, Tian X, Poeppel D (2017). Rule-based and statistics-based processing of language: insights from neuroscience. Lang Cogn Neurosci, 32(5):570-575. doi: 10.1080/23273798.2016.1215477. 

Lafon B, Huang Y, Henin S, Friedman D, Melloni L, Thesen T, Buzsaki G, Devinsky O, Parra L, Liu A (2017). Assessment of transcranial electrical stimulation effects on brain rhythms measured by invasive electroencephalograpgy. Nat Commun, Oct 31;8(1):1199. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01045-x.

Ding N, Melloni L, Yang A, Wang Y, Zhang W, Poeppel D (2017). Characterizing Neural Entrainment to Hierarchical Linguistic Structures using Electroencephalography (EEG). Front Hum Neurosci. Sep 28;11:481. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00481. 

Golan T, Davidesco I, Meshulam M, Groppe DM, Mégevand P, Yeagle EM, Goldfinger MS, Harel M, Melloni L, Schroeder CE, Deouell LY, Mehta AD, Malach R (2017). Increasing Suppression Of Saccade-Related Transients Along The Human Visual Hierarchy. Elife, Aug 29;6. pii: e27819. doi: 10.7554/eLife.27819. 

Cogan G, Iyer A, Melloni L, Thesen T, Friedman D, Doyle W, Devinsky O, Pesaran B. (2017). Manipulating stored phonological input during verbal working memory. Nat Neurosci, 20(2):279-286.

Golan T, Davidesco I, Meshulam M, Groppe DM, Mégevand P, Goldfinger MS, Yeagle E, Harel M, Melloni L, Schroeder CE, Deouell LY, Mehta AD, Malach R (2016). Human intracranial recordings link suppressed transients rather than 'filling-in' to perceptual continuity across blinks. eLife, Sep 29;5. pii: e17243. doi: 10.7554/eLife.17243. 

Zhou H, Melloni L, Poeppel D, Ding N (2016). Interpretations of frequency domain analyses of neural entrainment: periodicity, fundamental frequency, and harmonics. Front Hum Neurosci, Jun 6;10:274. 

Aru J, Rutiku R, Wibral M, Singer W, Melloni L (2016). Early effects of previous experience on conscious perception. Neurosci Conscious, [ePub ahead of print], doi: 10.1093/nc/niw004

Schwiedrzik CM, Bernstein B, Melloni L (2016). Motion along the mental number line reveals shared representations for numerosity and space. eLife, Jan 15;5. pii: e10806. doi: 10.7554/eLife.10806. 

Ding N, Melloni L, Zhang H, Tian X, Poeppel D (2016). Cortical tracking of hierarchical linguistic structures in connected speech. Nat Neurosci, 19(1):158-64. 

Mayer A, Schwiedrzik CM, Wibral M, Singer W, Melloni L (2016). Expecting to see a letter: alpha oscillations as carriers of top-down sensory predictions. Cereb Cortex, 26(7):3146-60. 

Snyder JS, Schwiedrzik CM, Vitela AD, Melloni L (2015). How previous experience shapes perception in different sensory modalities. Front Hum Neurosci, 9:594.

Schwiedrzik CM, Ruff CC, Lazar A, Leitner F, Singer W, Melloni L (2014). Untangling perceptual memory: hysteresis and adaptation recruit separate cortical networks. Cereb Cortex, 24(5):1152-64.

Müller NG, Strumpf H, Scholz M, Baier B, Melloni L (2013). Repetition suppression vs. enhancement – it’s quantity that matters. Cereb Cortex, 23(2):315-22.

Aru J, Bachmann T, Singer W, Melloni L (2012). Distilling the neural correlates of consciousness. Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 36, 737-746. 

Aru J, Axmacher N, Lam AD, Fell J, Elger C, Singer W, Melloni L (2012). Local category-specific gamma band responses in the visual cortex do not reflect conscious perception. J Neurosci. 32(43):14909-14. 

Melloni L, van Leeuwen S, Alink A, Müller NG (2012). Interaction between bottom-up saliency and top-down control in the human brain. Cereb Cortex, 22(12):2943-52.

van Leeuwen S, Singer W, Melloni L (2012). Meditation increases the depth of information processing and improves the allocation of attention in space. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 6:133. 

Peña M, Melloni L (2012). Brain oscillations for native language. J Cogn Neurosci, 24(5):1149-64.

Moca VV, Tincas I, Melloni L, Muresan RC (2011). Visual exploration and object recognition by lattice deformation. PLoS One 6(7): e22831. 

Schwiedrzik CM, Singer W, Melloni L (2011). Subjective and objective learning effects dissociate in space and in time. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 108(11):4506-11.

Melloni L, Schwiedrzik CM, Müller NG, Rodriguez E, Singer W (2011). Expectations change the signatures and timing of electrophysiological correlates of perceptual awareness. J Neurosci. 31(4),1386-96. 

Uhlhaas P, Pipa G, Lima B, Melloni L, Neuenschwander S, Nikolic D, Singer W (2009). Neural synchrony in cortical networks: history, concept and current status. Front Integr Neurosci. 3:17. 

Melloni L, Schwiedrzik CM, Rodriguez E, Singer W (2009). (Micro)Saccades, corollary activity and cortical oscillations. Trends Cogn Sci., 13(6):239-45. 

Melloni L, Schwiedrzik CM, Wibral M, Rodriguez E, Singer W (2009). Response to: Yuval-Greenberg et al., "Transient Induced Gamma-Band Response in EEG as a Manifestation of Miniature Saccades." Neuron 58, 429-441. Neuron, 16; 62(1):8-10.

Schwiedrzik CM, Singer W, Melloni L (2009). Sensitivity and perceptual awareness increase with practice in metacontrast masking. J Vis. 9(10):18, 1-18. 

van Leeuwen S,  Müller NG, Melloni L (2009). Age effects on attentional blink performance in meditation. Conscious Cogn, 18(3):593-9. 

Melloni L, Molina C, Peña M, Torres D, Singer W, Rodriguez R (2007). Synchronization of neural activity across cortical areas correlates with perceptual awareness. J Neurosci, 14; 27(11):2858-65. 

Cornejo C, Simonetti F, Aldunate N, Ibanez A, Lopez V, Melloni L (2007). Electrophysiological evidence of different interpretative strategies in irony comprehension. J Psycholinguist Res, 36(6):411-30.


Book Chapters

Melloni L, Buffalo EA, Dehaene S, Friston KJ, Ghazanfar AA, Giraud AL, Grafton ST, Haegens S, Pesaran B, Petkov CI, Poeppel D (2019). Computation and Its Neural Implementation in Human Cognition. In: The Neocortex, ed. W. Singer, T. J. Sejnowski and P. Rakic, pp. 323-346. Strüngmann Forum Reports, vol. 27, J. Lupp, series editor.  Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Melloni L (2015)*. Consciousness as inference in time. In: Open Mind. Metzinger TK, Windt JM (Eds.), Frankfurt am Main: MIND Group. Reprinted in: Open MIND. Philosophy And The Mind Sciences In The 21st Century. T. Metzinger & J. M. Windt (Eds). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2016. (* invited) 

Aru J, Bachmann T, Singer W, Melloni L (2015). On why the unconscious prerequisites and consequences of consciousness might derail us from unravelling the neural correlates of consciousness. In: The constitution of phenomenal consciousness: Toward a science and theory, Miller SM (Ed.). Advances in Consciousness Research Vol. 91. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.

Melloni L, Singer W (2011). The explanatory gap in neuroscience. The scientific legacy of the 20th century. In: The Proceedings of the Plenary Session 28. Oct. – 1. Nov. 2010. Vatican City 2011. Rome: Pontificiae Academiae Scientiarum Acta 21: 61-73.

Moser E, Corbetta M, Desimone R, Fregnac Y, Fries P, Graybiel A, Haynes JD, Itti L, von der Malsburg C, Melloni L, Monyer H, Singer W, Wilson M (2010). Coordination in brain systems. In: Dynamic coordination in the brain: from neurons to mind, von der Malsburg C, Phillips WA, Singer W (Eds.). Strüngmann Forum Report Vol. 5. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Melloni L, Singer W (2010). Distinct characteristics of conscious experience are met by large-scale synchronization. In: New horizons in the neuroscience of consciousness, Perry E, Collerton D, LeBeau FEN, Ashton H (Eds.). Advances in Consciousness Research Vol. 79. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing.



Henin S, Turk-Browne N, Friedman D, Liu A, Dugan P, Flinker A, Doyle W, Devinsky O, Melloni L. (2019) Statistical learning shapes neural sequence representations. bioRxiv 583856; doi:

Leszczyński M, Barczak A, Kajikawa Y, Ulbert I, Falchier A.Y, Tal I, Haegens S , Melloni L, Knight R.T, Schroeder C.E. (2019) Dissociation of broadband high-frequency activity and neuronal firing in the macaque neocortex. bioRxiv 531368; doi:

van Leeuwen T, Sauer A, Jurgut AM, Uhlhaas PJ, Wibral L, Singer W, Melloni L. (2018) Perceptual phenotypes: Perceptual gains and losses in synesthesia and schizophrenia. bioRxiv 443846; doi:

Davidesco I, Thesen T, Honey CJ, Melloni L, Doyle W, Devinsky O, Ghitza O, Schroeder CE, Poeppel D, Hasson U (2017). Electrocorticographic responses to time-compressed speech vary across the cortical auditory hierarchy. bioRxiv 354464; doi:


Auszeichnungen & Stipendien



Fellow at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies (IIAS) in the research group “Deconstructing and Reconstructing Consciousness: an Interdisciplinary Approach to a Perennial Puzzle”

2018Selected for AcademiaNet – a database profile of excellent female researchers from all disciplines



Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF)    
Accelerating research on Consciousness: An adversarial collaboration to test contradictory predictions of Global Neuronal Workspace and Integrated Information Theory. Role: Pi 


Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF)    
Pilot Study for a Novel Paradigm to Study Consciousness. Role: Co-Pi (PI: Liad Mudrik) 


National Institutes of Health (NIH), R01 RF1MH116978
The Neuronal Underpinnings of Non-invasive Laminar fMRI. Role: Co-Investigator (PI: Essa Yacoub/Orrin Devinsky) 


Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF)    
Game Development and Pilot Study for an Experiment on Consciousness. Role: Co-Pi (PI: Michael Pitts) 


Hessen Ministry of Science and Arts, LOEWE Initiative

Center for Personalized Translational Epilepsy Research: ´CePTER´) Role: Co-Investigator (PI: Felix Rosenow) 


Minerva Stiftung. Minerva School ‘Brain Rhythms in Computations, Communications, and Cognition

Role: Co-organizer (PI: Elana Zion Golumbic) 


German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development (GIF)I-99-105.4-2016 

Statistical Learning of Artificial Language: Introducing a Neural-Based Metric as an Implicit Test of Statistical Learning. Role: PI 


Office of Naval Research  (ONR) Multidisciplinary Research Program of the University Research Initiative (MURI) N00014-17-1-2961

A Computational Cognitive Neuroscience Approach to Understanding Event Representation and Episodic Memory. Role: Co-Investigator (PI: Charan Ranganath) 


Marie Sklodowska-Curie International Outgoing Fellowship, H2020-MSCA-IF-2016

Brain Predict Dynamics, Proposal 750459 Role: Supervisor (Fellow: Ryszard Auksztulewicz)




  • Neural mechanisms by which the brain predictively controls perception and cognition

    A central yet unanswered question in neuroscience concerns the cortical mechanisms by which the brain predictively controls perception and higher-level cognitive functions, e.g., language. My studies investigate how predictions about upcoming ...

  • The structure of subjective experience

    Consciousness is one of the most fascinating yet least understood aspects of human nature, or perhaps nature at large. Our lives dwell in our conscious experiences: this is where we experience love, we feel the ‘chills’ with a good piece of ...

  • Testing theories of consciousness

    Every day we lose and regain consciousness as we fall asleep and wake up. Yet, we still do not know how consciousness come about in the brain. Our long-term goal is to shed light onto this fundamental question: how does a physical system, such as ...

  • Methods development

    Advancements in science necessitate theories, to make sense of observations and to predict new observations, but also sensitive methods to enable observations at the right scale. As we need a telescope to look at the galaxy far away, we need ...

  • Mental units of temporal experience

    Our mind breaks the continuous stream of experience into events, or chunks. Events are meaningful episodes that unfold over time, such as throwing a ball. We can understand, for instance, who is throwing a ball to whom and at what speed. Events ...

  • The interplay between perception and memory

    From the thousands of experiences we have each day, only a few will be remembered. How and why is this so? We are interested in the question of how the continuous living present is broken up into pieces that will be remembered, and the distortion ...