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. 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

Dr Witek’s main interest is in researching the psychology, cognitive science and cognitive philosophy of musical experience, with a focus on rhythm, timing, emotion and body-movement. Much of her 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. 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, 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, University of Sheffield

    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 philosophy of mind, especially (but not limited to) rhythm, timing, body-movement and emotion.


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