Maria Witek

Colleges, School and Institutes


I have worked and studied across music and cognitive science since finishing my undergraduate degree in musicology in Oslo, most recently as Assistant Professor at the Center for Music in the Brain, Aarhus University, Denmark.

Research interests

My research to date has largely focused on musical groove, which is psychologically defined as a musical quality associated with a pleasurable desire to move. In this work, I have studied how rhythm affords affective experience, using both empirical and theoretical approaches. My empirical methodology has included finger-tapping experiments, motion-capture, physiological recording, brain imaging (fMRI), subjective reports and semi-structured interviews. My music-analytical approach relies on theories of embodied cognition and extended mind.

Education/Academic qualification

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oxford

    ... and I feel good! The relationship between body-movement, pleasure and groove in music

    1 Oct 2009 - 11 Mar 2013
  • Master of Arts, Sheffield University

    Master of Arts in Music Psychology

    10 Sep 2007 - 10 Sep 2008
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Oslo


    11 Aug 2003 - 15 Jun 2006

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

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


  • M Music - music cognition, rhythm, groove, sensorimotor synchronisation, affect