Maria Witek


  • Associate Professor, Music

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am interested in hearing from potential doctoral students wishing to study music cognition, psychology and philosophy of mind, especially (but not limited to) rhythm, timing, body-movement and emotion.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


I have worked and studied across music and cognitive science since finishing my undergraduate degree in musicology in Oslo. I completed an MA in Music Psychology at Sheffield University, and a doctorate in Music at the University of Oxford. Before coming to Birmingham, I was Assistant Professor at the Center for Music in the Brain, Aarhus University, Denmark.

Research interests

The main interest of Dr Witek and her lab is in researching the psychology, cognitive neuroscience and cognitive philosophy of musical experience, with a focus on rhythm, timing, emotion and body-movement. Much of Dr Witek's work is centred on trying to understand how dance music experiences and practices emerge from interactions between embodied, neural, musical and social processes. She uses research methods from across experimental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, qualitative social psychology, digital music analysis and phenomenology. In 2022, she embarked on a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, investigating Embodied Timing and Disability in DJ Practice. She is also a co-investigator on the Augmented Reality for Music Ensemble (ARME) project, which is testing a model of how music ensembles synchronise their playing to achieve a cohesive performance. The model will be used to develop a rehearsal system where musicians can practice with virtual ensembles that adapt their timing to the musician in real time.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, ... and I feel good! The relationship between body-movement, pleasure and groove in music, University of Oxford

1 Oct 200911 Mar 2013

Award Date: 10 Oct 2013

Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Music Psychology, University of Sheffield

10 Sept 200710 Sept 2008

Award Date: 8 Sept 2008

Bachelor of Arts, Musicology, University of Oslo

11 Aug 200315 Jun 2006

Award Date: 15 Jun 2006


  • M Music
  • music cognition
  • rhythm
  • timing
  • sensorimotor synchronisation
  • emotion


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • Groove Workshop

    Maria Witek (Organiser), Tomas Matthews (Organiser), Toni Bechtold (Organiser), Virginia Penhune (Organiser), Jan Stupacher (Organiser) & Deniz Duman (Organiser)

    25 Jan 202327 Jan 2023

    Activity: Academic and Industrial eventsConference, workshop or symposium