I am interested in describing the mechanisms underlying the
representation of hierarchies in the visual, musical, linguistic and
motor domains; and the processes involved in the acquisition of those
Our research program, which includes behavioural and fMRI experiments,
aims at characterising the domain-general and domain-specific
computations involved in the representation of hierarchical structures,
thus drawing a more empirically precise architecture of human cognition.
2006-2014 Language Research Laboratory, Lisbon
Faculty of Medicine
2006-2008 Psychiatry Unit, Hospital de Santa Maria,
2010-2014 Department of Cognitive Biology,
University of Vienna
2012-2014 Shared Neural Resources Research Cluster,
University of Vienna and Medical University of Vienna
2014- Max Planck Institute for Human
Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig.
2014- Berlin School of Mind and Brain,
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
of Cognitive Neurology, University Hospital Leipzig
Martins MD, Bianco R, Sammler D, Villringer A (2017) Fractals in Action: An fMRI study on the
Generation of new Hierarchical Levels in Motor Sequences. bioRxiv. 232942; doi:
Martins MD, Gingras B, Puig-Waldmueller E.,
Fitch WT (2017). Cognitive representation of “musical fractals”: Processing
hierarchy and recursion in the auditory domain. Cognition 161, 31–45
M (2017). The Cognitive Architecture of
Recursion: Behavioral and fMRI Evidence from the Visual, Musical and Motor
Domains. In Proceedings of the 39th
Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (Eds. G. Gunzelmann, A.
Howes, T. Tenbrink, & E. J. Davelaar), pp. 1920-1924. Austin, TX: Cognitive
Fischmeister, FP, Martins MD, Beisteiner, R, Fitch, WT. (2017). Self-similarity and recursion as
default modes in human cognition. Cortex 97, 183 - 201
Martins MD, Mursic Z, Oh J, Fitch WT (2015). Representing visual recursion does not
require verbal or motor resources. Cognitive
Psychology 77, 20-41
MD, Laaha S, Freiberger E, Choi S, Fitch WT (2014). How children perceive
fractals: hierarchical self-similarity and cognitive development. Cognition
M (2014). Recursion is not language
domain-specific: interim results of a research program. In The Evolution of Language - Proceedings of
the 10th International conference (Eds. Erica A Cartmill, Seán Roberts,
Heidi Lyn, Hanna Cornish), pp.177-184. Singapore: World Scientific.
Fitch WT, Martins MD (2014). Hierarchical Processing in Music, Language
and Action: Lashley revisited. Annals
of the New York Academy of Sciences 1316, 87-104.
Martins MD, Fishmeister F,
Puig Waldmüller E, Oh J, Geissler A, Fitch WT, Beisteiner R (2014). Fractal
Image Perception provides Novel Insights into Hierarchical Cognition. NeuroImage 96, 300-308.
Martins MD (2012). Distinctive signatures of
recursion. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 367,