Communication without words – via melody and vocal tone in speech and music – is research focus of the Otto Hahn Group. By means of modern neuroscientific methods we investigate what enables us to decode speech melody and its social contents and how musicians lend themselves and their piece artistic expression.
Available PhD projects
The Otto Hahn Group welcomes new PhD students in two main research areas – speech and music:
Speech. During conversations, humans regularly decode not only what is said but also why. For example, depending on the latter, the same utterance “it is hard to be punctual in the morning” can be understood as empathic concern, criticism or simply as a matter of facts. Speech melody, i.e. prosody, plays a key role in specifying how the sentence is meant. How the brain decodes this interpersonal melodic meaning beyond the words is research topic one in our group.
Music. During music performance, musicians have to plan and execute their movements with high temporal and spatial precision. In research topic two, we investigate how professional performance benefits from (implicit) knowledge about the melodic/harmonic organization of Western tonal music and what are the neural underpinnings of fluent musical action planning.