RITMO Seminar: Musical Groove (Maria Witek, Birmingham)

Maria Witek (Birmingham) will lecture on "Musical Groove: Effect on pleasure, body-movement and the brain".

Maria Witek

Maria Witek

Abstract: What is it about music that makes us want to move? And why does it feel so good? In this talk, I will present a series of empirical studies investigating the relationship between pleasure, body-movement and groove. Methodologies include rating surveys, motion-capture, cross-cultural comparisons, fMRI and whole-brain computational modelling. While my earlier studies focused almost exclusively on rhythmic properties – specifically syncopation – more recent experiments have shown that harmonic complexity interacts with rhythmic complexity in the pleasurable experience of groove. During the talk, I will also consider the implications of groove research for embodied theories of cognition.


Maria Witek is senior research fellow in music cognition, psychology and neuroscience at the University of Birmingham. Her research areas are rhythm, body-movement, affect and musical groove.


Published Dec. 20, 2017 10:27 PM - Last modified Mar. 26, 2020 4:18 PM