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Dr Clemens Maidhof

Senior Research Fellow

Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research

Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
Music therapy , Neuroscience , Mind and Behaviour

Clemens is a Senior Research Fellow with the Cambridge Institute for Music Therapy Research. He has a background in musicology and psychology, with a focus on research into the cognitive neuroscience of music.

[email protected]


Clemens joined Anglia Ruskin University in 2016 after doing research at the University of Cologne, Germany, the Finnish Centre for Interdisciplinary Music Research in Helsinki/Jyvaskyla and at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig, Germany. He holds an MA in Musicology from the University of Cologne and a PhD in Psychology from the Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany.

Spoken Languages

  • German
  • English
  • Dutch

Research interests

  • Neural dynamics of clinical improvisation
  • Neural mechanisms underlying action monitoring in musicians
  • Brain-computer music interfaces
  • Syntactic processing of language and music
  • Multi-modal data acquisition and mobile brain-behaviour research 

Clemens’ research interests are in the cognitive neurosciences of music. He has published several papers about error monitoring in music performance, utilizing EEG, motion capture and musical (MIDI) data. He has also conducted research on the neural mechanisms underlying syntactic processing of music and language and the effects of attention on these processes. His current primary research interests are the neural dynamics underlying music improvisation during therapy, for which he combines music therapy research with social cognitive neuroscience.


  • MA in Musicology, University of Cologne, Germany
  • PhD in Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

Clemens has served as an ad-hoc reviewer for different journals such as Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, NeuroImage, International Journal of Psychophysiology, Psychological Research, PLoS ONE, Music Perception, Music Perception, Frontiers in Psychology, Experimental Brain Research, Cognition

Selected recent publications

Maidhof, C., Müller, V., Lartillot, O., Agres, K., Bloska, J., Asano, R., Odell-Miller, H., & Fachner, J. (2023). Intra- and inter-brain coupling and activity dynamics during improvisational music therapy with a person with dementia: An explorative EEG-hyperscanning single case study. Frontiers in Psychology, 14, 1155732. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1155732

Fachner, J., Maidhof, C., Murtagh, D., De Silva, D., Pasqualitto, F., Fernie, P., Panin, F., Michell, A., Muller-Rodriguez, L., & Odell-Miller, H. (2023). Music therapy, neural processing, and craving reduction: An RCT protocol for a mixed methods feasibility study in a Community Substance Misuse Treatment Service. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 18(1), 36. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13722-023-00385-y

Tucek, G., Maidhof, C., Vogl, J., Heine, A., Zeppelzauer, M., Steinhoff, N., & Fachner, J. (2022). EEG Hyperscanning and Qualitative Analysis of Moments of Interest in Music Therapy for Stroke Rehabilitation—A Feasibility Study. Brain Sciences, 12(5), 24. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci12050565

Yap, S. S., Ramseyer, F. T., Fachner, J., Maidhof, C., Tschacher, W., Tucek, G., 2022. Dyadic nonverbal synchrony during pre and post music therapy interventions and its relationship to self-reported therapy readiness. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 16, 912729. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2022.912729

Hunt, A. M., Fachner, J., Clark-Vetri, R., Raffa, R. B., Rupnow-Kidd, C., Maidhof, C., Dileo, C., 2021. Neuronal Effects of Listening to Entrainment Music Versus Preferred Music in Patients With Chronic Cancer Pain as Measured via EEG and LORETA Imaging. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 588788. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.588788

Fachner, J.C., Maidhof, C., Grocke, D., Nygaard Pedersen, I., Trondalen, G., Tucek, G., Bonde, L.O., 2019. "Telling me not to worry…" Hyperscanning and Neural Dynamics of Emotion Processing During Guided Imagery and Music. Frontiers in Psychology. 10, 1561.

Maidhof, C., Kästner, T., & Makkonen, T. (2014). Combining EEG, MIDI, and motion capture techniques for investigating musical performance. Behavior Research Methods, 46(1), 185–95.

Maidhof, C. (2013). Error monitoring in musicians. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 1–8. 

Maidhof, C., Pitkäniemi, A., & Tervaniemi, M. (2013). Predictive error detection in pianists: a combined ERP and motion capture study. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 587. 

Maidhof, C., & Koelsch, S. (2011). Effects of selective attention on syntax processing in music and language. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23(9), 2252–2267. 

Maidhof, C., Vavatzanidis, N., Prinz, W., Rieger, M., & Koelsch, S. (2010). Processing expectancy violations during music performance and perception: an ERP study. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22(10), 2401–2413.

Maidhof, C., Rieger, M., Prinz, W., & Koelsch, S. (2009). Nobody is perfect: ERP effects prior to performance errors in musicians indicate fast monitoring processes. PLoS One, 4(4), 1–7.

Recent presentations and conferences

Maidhof, C. (2022, June 12). Neural dynamics of moments of interest in the therapeutic process: EEG-hyperscanning during music therapy. Talk at the European Music Therapy Conference, Edinburgh, UK.

Maidhof, C. et al. (2018). An EEG case report on Guided Imagery in Music - cortical frontal asymmetry and neural generators during altered states of consciousness and at rest. Poster presentation at "KOSMOS workshop Mind Wandering and Visual Mental Imagery in Music" at the Humboldt University Berlin, Germany, 16-19 May 2018.

Maidhof, C. (2018). To Err is Human - even if you are a musician: neural correlates of error monitoring during music performance. ALSS research seminar lecture, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK, 2 May 2018.

Maidhof, C. et al. (2018). Neural dynamics of moments of interest during dyadic improvisation in music therapy. Poster presentation at the "Cologne Spring School Language, Music and Cognition", University of Cologne, Germany. 27 February 2018.

Maidhof, C. (2017). Neural correlates of music performance – from motor control to improvisation during music therapy. Invited guest lecture at the University of Cologne, Germany. 14 December 2017.

Maidhof, C. (2017). Neural dynamics of moments of interest during dyadic improvisation in music therapy. Invited talk at the international conference "Mozart & Science", Krems, Austria, 10 November 2017.

Maidhof, C. & Fachner, J. (2018). Improvising brains: A workshop on theory and practice of brain interaction in music therapy. Workshop at the BAMT (British association for music therapy) conference, London, UK. 18 February 2018.

Fachner, J., O’Kelly, J., Street, A., Maidhof, C. (2018). Music Therapy and neuroscientific aspects of change in psychiatry and neuro-rehabilitation. Round table at the BAMT (British association for music therapy) conference, London, UK. 17 February 2018.

Media experience