Dr Steffen A. Herff


Research Program: Brain Sciences - Music Cognition and Action


Steffen graduated in Psychology at the Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf in Germany before going on to complete his PhD at the MARCS Institute for Brain, Behaviour, and Development focusing on 'Memory for Melody' in 2017, under the supervision of Prof. Roger Dean and Dr. Kirk Olsen.

After his PhD, Steffen secured a DAAD-UA grant to conduct the "Noisy Ear" project in Germany, exploring context effects of background noise on memory before accepting a position at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore, where he worked on Statistical Learning and memory paradigms in the auditory domain.

Steffen's research is situated at the intersection between Memory, Music, and Neuroscience. His diverse interests and background have made him an integral part of many inter-disciplinary projects. These projects range from fundamental memory, learning, and perception research, over social negotiation between musical co-performers and the creation of new compositional tools, to non-invasive and invasive brain imaging in musical rhythm perception as well as brain stimulation to modulate memory encoding. Steffen strongly believes that inter-disciplinary research is the key to tackle complex, multi-faceted research questions.

In 2019, Steffen joined the DCML at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland, on the ERC grant “Principles of Musical Structure Building: Theory, Computation, and Cognition” awarded to Prof. Rohrmeier, to lead the empirical efforts of the project. This projects links well with Steffen's research on statistical learning and passion for experimental design.

Research Interests

  • Memory
  • Music
  • Neuroscience


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Western Sydney University


A listing of my publications can be found on my Google Scholar page(opens in a new window)

Home University

École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne - Lausanne, Switzerland


Phone+41 2169 34087