Katerina Kandylaki

About me2020-04-30 Katerina Kandylaki - 2

I am a postdoc researcher at Maastricht University investigating the cross-domain influence of musical rhythmic training on rhythm perception in language comprehension. I come from the south-most part of Europe, the island of Crete in Greece. My training is in linguistics, computational linguistics and the neurobiology of language. I am fascinated by the brain, language, music, dance, rhythm. I envision connecting all my interests in the next research project on dance, rhythm, and neurobiology.


Speech and language processing

My research is motivated by theories in the neurobiology of language and realised in naturalistic experimental designs, so that the results provide insights about our everyday language experience. I have previously worked on my MSCA fellowship project “The NEurobiology of RHYthm: effects of MUSical expertise on natural speech comprehension” NERHYMUS. In this blog I have documented its progress.

  • Neurobiology of language
  • Dorsal-ventral auditory pathways
  • Rhythm processing
  • Observatory/naturalistic paradigms


  • fMRI
  • EEG
  • Eye-tracking
  • TMS
  • R, Python, MNE-Python
  • SPM, Matlab

Qualifications and Professional Experience

  • 2004 -2009 Undergraduate studies: Greek Philology at the University of Athens, Greece. Specialisation in Linguistics, thesis in Computational Linguistics.
  • 2009 -2011 Masters in Language Science and Technology, Saarland University, Germany. Specialisation in Computational Psycholinguistics, thesis in Psycholinguistics.
  • 2012 – 2016 PhD in the Neurobiology of Language at Philipps-Universität Marburg. Thesis “Put it in context: the neurobiology of language explored with controlled stimuli in naturalistic auditory stories”, supervisor Prof Ina Bornkessel-Schlesewsky.
  • 2016 – 2017 Post doctoral research at the Department of Bioengineering of Imperial College London.
  • 2018 – 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellow at Maastricht University, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Selected Publications

  • Kandylaki, K. D., & Criscuolo, A. (2021). Neural tracking of speech: top-down and bottom-up influences in the musician’s brain.
  • Kandylaki, K. D., & Kotz S.A. (2020). Distinct cortical rhythms in speech and language processing and some more: a commentary on Meyer, Sun, & Martin (2019). Language, Cognition, and Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2020.1757729.
  • Weissbart, H., Kandylaki, K. D., & Reichenbach, T. (2019). Cortical Tracking of Surprisal during Continuous Speech Comprehension. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01467.
  • Kandylaki, K. D., Henrich, K., Nagels, A., Kircher, T., Domahs, U., Schlesewsky, M., Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I., & Wiese, R. (2017). Where is the beat? The neural correlates of lexical stress and rhythmical well-formedness in auditory story comprehension. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 2(7), 1119-1131. https://doi.org/10.1162/jocn_a_01122.
  • Kandylaki, K. D., Nagels, A., Tune, S., Kircher, T., Wiese, R., Schlesewsky, M., & Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I. (2016). Predicting “when” in discourse engages the human dorsal auditory stream: An fMRI study using naturalistic stories. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(48), 12180-12191. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4100-15.2016 (Open access).
  • Kandylaki, K. D., Nagels, A., Tune, S., Wiese, R., Bornkessel-Schlesewsky, I., & Kircher, T. (2015). Processing of false belief passages during natural story comprehension: An fMRI study. Human brain mapping, 36(11), 4231–4246. https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.22907.


  • 2018 – 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie individual fellowship award

For more details please send an email to katerina.kandylaki@maastrichtuniversity.nl