Ece Kaya

About me

I am a PhD candidate working in the ‘Neural and Environmental Rhythms’ research group at the Max Planck Institute of Empirical Aesthetics in Frankfurt, Germany, and pursuing my education at Maastricht University. I have a background in psychology and cognitive science, and I am deeply interested in rhythm and timing in the auditory domain. Under the joint supervision of Sonja Kotz, Molly Henry, and Peter Keller, I currently research individual differences in oscillatory mechanisms underlying rhythmic entrainment, and how these differences are reflected in perception and production of rhythm.

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My PhD project aims to develop measures that can quantify the sources of individual differences in rhythmic entrainment. I investigate how characteristics of, and changes in rhythmic sounds affect their perception (change or deviation detection) and production (finger tapping), as well as the individual factors contributing to this effect such as age and musical experience. The long-term goal of my research is to gain a better understanding of listening difficulties that increase with age due to impaired synchrony between internal and external rhythms. Besides my PhD project, I am interested in how the interplay between rhythm characteristics and their perception can be implemented in music production software to improve the senses of timing and groove.

  • Rhythmic entrainment
  • Neural oscillations
  • Dynamic attending theory
  • Sensorimotor synchronization


  • Behavioral measures
  • Psychophysics
  • Computational modelling
  • R, Matlab, Javascript – HTML, Max/MSP
  • Online data collection (JATOS, Prolific, LimeSurvey

Qualifications and Professional Experience

  • 2019 – Present: PhD candidate, Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt; PhD student, Maastricht University, The Netherlands
  • 2017 – 2018: Project Assistant, TUBITAK Project “Concepts and Beliefs: From Perception to Action”, Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2015 – 2019: M.A., Cognitive Science (Psychology & Linguistics), Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2009 – 2014: B.A, Psychology, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey

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