Stefan Koelsch (Kölsch) is a brain scientist and bestselling author recruited by UiB in 2015 as a Toppforsk (excellent research) Professor. His main research fields are neuroscience and experimental psychology. He is known for highly interdisciplinary work, co-authoring publications with neurologists, immunologists, psychiatrists, physicists, philosophers, musicologists, literary scholars, and psycholinguists. His ISI h-index is 50 (70 in scholar.google), with an average of >65 citations per article.
Prof. Koelsch describes his research interests as follows: “I am interested in which brain processes make us happy and healthy, and unhappy and sick. I have a powerful personal connection to music (being a former musician myself), and I am particularly interested in how music can support mood-regulation, social connection, and self-motivation. I am also interested in the therapeutic effects of music on disorders and diseases, especially neurological diseases and psychiatric disorders. My group is currently running a large study funded by the Norwegian Research Council (Forskningsradet) investigating the therapeutic effects of music therapy and physical exercise in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Subjective Cognitive Decline. Other neuroscience projects in my group investigate neural correlates of emotion, learning, and predictive processes.”
Stefan Koelsch is also a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig (Germany).
- Emotions and the brain
- Moodregulation with music
- Clinical Interventions in Alzheimer's disease.
- The therapeutic effects of music and physical activity in Alzheimer's disease
- Neuroscientific methods
- fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
- MRS (Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy)
- Predicitive processes in the brain
- Music and the brain
Cheung, V. K., Harrison, P. M., Meyer, L., Pearce, M. T., Haynes, J. D., & Koelsch, S. (2019). Uncertainty and surprise jointly predict musical pleasure and Amygdala, Hippocampus, and auditory cortex activity. Current Biology, 29(23), 4084-4092.
Hohmann, L., Bradt, J., Stegemann, T., & Koelsch, S. (2017). Effects of music therapy and music-based interventions in the treatment of substance use disorders: A systematic review. PloS one, 12(11), e0187363.
Pehrs, C., Zaki, J., Schlochtermeier, L. H., Jacobs, A. M., Kuchinke, L., & Koelsch, S. (2017). The temporal pole top-down modulates the ventral visual stream during social cognition. Cerebral Cortex, 27(1), 777-792.
Koelsch, S., Boehlig, A., Hohenadel, M., Nitsche, I., Bauer, K., & Sack, U. (2016). The impact of acute stress on hormones and cytokines, and how their recovery is affected by music-evoked positive mood. Scientific reports, 6, 23008.
Koelsch, S., Busch, T., Jentschke, S., & Rohrmeier, M. (2016). Under the hood of statistical learning: A statistical MMN reflects the magnitude of transitional probabilities in auditory sequences. Scientific reports, 6, 19741.
Lehne, M., Rohrmeier, M., & Koelsch, S. (2014). Tension-related activity in the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala: an fMRI study with music. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 9(10), 1515-1523.
- 2021. Trait Empathy Shapes Neural Responses Toward Sad Music. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience. 231-241.
- 2021. Neocortical substrates of feelings evoked with music in the ACC, insula, and somatosensory cortex. Scientific Reports.
- 2020. Cortical thickness and resting‐state cardiac function across the lifespan: A cross‐sectional pooled mega‐analysis. Psychophysiology. 16 pages.
- 2020. A coordinate-based meta-analysis of music-evoked emotions. NeuroImage. 1-10.
- 2019. When the statistical MMN meets the physical MMN. Scientific Reports.
- 2019. Uncertainty and surprise jointly predict musical pleasure and amygdala, hippocampus, and auditory cortex activity. Current Biology. 4084-4092.e4.
- 2019. The Effect of Emotional Valence on Ventricular Repolarization Dynamics Is Mediated by Heart Rate Variability: A Study of QT Variability and Music-Induced Emotions. Frontiers in Physiology.
- 2019. Heroic music stimulates empowering thoughts during mind-wandering . Scientific Reports.
- 2018. The right inferior frontal gyrus processes nested non-local dependencies in music. Scientific Reports. 1-12.
- 2018. The auditory cortex hosts network nodes influential for emotion processing: An fMRI study on music-evoked fear and joy. PLOS ONE. 1-22.
- 2018. Identifying Emotional Specificity in Complex Large-Scale Brain Networks. Emotion Review. 217-218.
- 2018. Hippocampal-Temporopolar Connectivity Contributes to Episodic Simulation during Social Cognition. Scientific Reports. 1-13.
- 2017. The emotional power of poetry: Neural circuitry, psychophysiology and compositional principles. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience. 1229-1240.
- 2017. Language and music phrase boundary processing in Autism Spectrum Disorder: An ERP study. Scientific Reports.
- 2017. Effects of Sad and Happy Music on Mind-Wandering and the Default Mode Network. Scientific Reports.
- 2016. Under the hood of statistical learning: A statistical MMN reflects the magnitude of transitional probabilities in auditory sequences. Scientific Reports.
- 2016. The impact of acute stress on hormones and cytokines, and how their recovery is affected by music-evoked positive mood. Scientific Reports.
- 2016. Neurophysiological correlates of musical and prosodic phrasing: Shared processing mechanisms and effects of musical expertise. PLOS ONE.
- 2014. Neural correlates of music-syntactic processing in two-year old children. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. 200-208.
- 2014. Differential effects of early life stress on hippocampus and amygdala volume as a function of emotional abilities. Hippocampus. 1094-1101.
- 2013. Neural correlates of emotional personality: a structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging study. PLOS ONE.
- 2013. From Understanding to Appreciating Music Cross-Culturally. PLOS ONE.
- 2012. Cardiac signatures of personality. PLOS ONE.
- 2011. Neurokognition von Musik und Sprache [Neurocognition of music and language]. Sprachheilarbeit. 178-185.
- 2010. Differences in Electric Brain Responses to Melodies and Chords. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 2251-2262.
- 2009. Universal Recognition of Three Basic Emotions in Music. Current Biology. 573-576.
- 2009. Musical training modulates the development of syntax processing in children. NeuroImage. 735-744.
- 2008. Short-term effects of processing musical syntax: An ERP study. Brain Research. 55-62.
- 2008. Processing of musical syntax in children with and without Specific Language Impairment. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 1940-1951.
- 2008. EEG correlates of moderate intermittent explosive disorder. Clinical Neurophysiology. 151-162.
- 2007. Untangling syntactic and sensory processing: An ERP study of music perception. Psychophysiology. 476-490.
- 2007. A cardiac signature of emotionality. European Journal of Neuroscience. 3328-3338.
- 2006. Brain, Music, Plasticity, and Development. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft. 51-70.
- 2005. Neural Correlates of Processing Structure in Music and Language – Influences of Musical Training and Language Impairment. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 231-242.
- 2017. Brain correlates of music-evoked emotions and implications for therapy.
- 2019. Statistical learning in the developing brain: Towards early diagnosis of impaired language acquisition.
- 2007. Einflüsse von Entwicklungsveränderungen auf die Musikwahrnehmung und die Beziehung von Musik und Sprache [The relationship of music and language and developmental influences on music perception]. 24 pages.
- 2019. Statistical learning in the developing brain.
- 2019. What are aesthetic emotions? Psychological review. 171-195.
- 2019. Predictive processes and the peculiar case of music. Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 63-77.
- 2017. Effects of music therapy and music-based interventions in the treatment of substance use disorders: A systematic review. PLOS ONE. 1-36.
- 2019. Uncertainty and Surprise Jointly Predict Musical Pleasure and Amygdala, Hippocampus, and Auditory Cortex Activity. Current Biology.
2014 – 2015 Professor (Chair) of Psychology (Emotion Psychology and Biological Psychology), Faculty of Psychology at Lancaster University, UK.
2010 – 2014 Professor of Psychology (Biological Psychology and Music Psychology), Free University Berlin, Germany.
2006 – 2010 Senior Lecturer, University of Sussex, UK.
2003 – 2008 Assistant Professor / Leader of an Independent Max Planck Junior Research Group Max Planck Institute Cognitive Neuroscience, Leipzig, Germany.
2001 – 2002 Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology/Neuroimaging (Group Professor Dr. G. Schlaug), Harvard University, USA.
2000 – 2001 Postdoctoral stipendiary of the Max Planck Institute of Cognitive NeuroScience (Department Professor Dr. A. D. Friederici), Leipzig, Germany.
2004 German Habilitation, 06.12.2004, Max Planck Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience / University of Leipzig (Faculty of Biosciences, Pharmacy, and Psychology), Germany.
2000 Ph.D. in Psychology (Dr. rer. nat.), 08.05.2000, Max Planck Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience / University of Leipzig, Germany (best mark / summa cum laude).