Max Planck for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Mauricio J.D. Martins MD, PhD

Stephanstraße 1A

04103 Leipzig



Mauricio J.D. Martins MD, PhD

Mauricio J.D. Martins MD, PhD
Mauricio J.D. Martins MD, PhD
External guest researcher
Department of Neurology
Phone: +49 341 9940-2220

Main Focus

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 representations. 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.

Curriculum Vitae

2006-2014    Language Research Laboratory, Lisbon Faculty of Medicine

2006-2008    Psychiatry Unit, Hospital de Santa Maria, Portugal

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

2017-            Department of Cognitive Neurology, University Hospital Leipzig

Selected publications

·      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

·  Martins, 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 Science Society.

·  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

·      Martins MD, Laaha S, Freiberger E, Choi S, Fitch WT (2014). How children perceive fractals: hierarchical self-similarity and cognitive development. Cognition 133, 10-24

·      Martins 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, 2055-2064

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