About me

I was born in Germany, raised in Brussels, returned to Germany to study psychology at the University of Konstanz and completed my PhD at NYU in New York City. I’ve left half my heart in Brooklyn, but in summer 2020, I returned to my home region in Southern Germany to work as a postdoc at the Max-Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tuebingen.

I am a researcher, a woman, a bisexual, a runner who rather runs 50k than a 5-minute km, an unapologetic fan of free weekends, glitter, and silly comics involving cats more often than not (some of which originate from the hand of yours truly).

I’m enthusiastic about taking the ‘hard’ science of aesthetics to the public! Most recently, I have been writing for the German magazine Gehirn und Geist and interviewed with the Sciene S*Heroes and the SASS podcast.

I tweet as aabrielma.


Why do we like some songs and hate others? Why do we spend money to visit art galleries? Why do we spend so much time binge-watching the latest TV show? My research wants to tackle these and many other questions about the pleasure we take in and the decisions we make based on sensory experiences. If you want to know the details, click here.


Google Scholar conveniently lists all my publications, including theses.

For a more selective list and preprints, head over here.

You can access all full texts and most conference posters via Research Gate.


At some point during my PhD studies, I wanted to cite a paragraph from Gustav Fechner’s “Vorschule der Aesthetik”. I did not want to go against the canonical translation, so I looked it up and - there was no translation! I was shocked. So many papers cited his work! Fast-forward 2 months, the first volume had finally been translated. I just had to do it myself! The freely available English translation of Fechner’s Preschool of Aesthetic. is here for any of you to use, translate into even more languages, and improve further under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

I have no firm plans to also translate the second volume of Fechner’s work - though you may convince me otherwise ;) I am very open to the idea of translating other, historically important articles from German into English. I have yet to decide on a new project.