Universiteit Leiden

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Rebecca Schaefer

Associate Professor

Dr. R.S. Schaefer
+31 71 527 6748


Rebecca Schaefer is an associate professor in the Health, Medical- and Neuropsychology unit, and leads the 'Music, Brain, Health & Technology'-group. Before coming to Leiden University, she held a SAGE Jr research fellowship at UC Santa Barbara, USA, and a European Marie Curie fellowship at the University of Edinburgh, UK. She completed a PhD work at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior of Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, after receiving MSc's in Clinical Neuropsychology and Music Cognition from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and Keele University, UK, respectively. She is also on the staff of the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts, supervising research and providing teaching. Recent updates and a full cv can be found at www.rebeccaschaefer.net


The research carried out by the 'Music, Brain, Health & Technology'-group is mainly focused on clinical applications of music and the related neural processes, as well as the possibilities of novel technological advances towards the use of music technology for health. Examples of topic areas are moving to music, music imagery, and effects of music on other functions, such as cognition or reward, but also the underlying principles of learning musical skills. Based in Clinical Neuropsychology, music psychology and cognitive neuroscience, our work aims to better understand musical interactions and harness these in clinical applications, based on behavioral and neural measures. To this end, we collaborate with various other fields of expertise, such as AI and computational musicology, composers, music therapists, and medical specialisms.


Rebecca teaches in the Bachelor Psychology and the Master specialization Clinical Neuropsychology, supervising MSc theses. As part of the Minor ‘Music Studies’ she also teaches a module on ‘Music Cognition’ at the Faculty of Humanities.


  • SNAAR festival: Een toegankelijke verbinding tussen muziek en wetenschap. [SNAAR Festival: an accessible connection between music and science] NWA-WECOM, 2020, €50K
  • Aspasia grant NWO, 2019-2023, €150K
  • Playing towards health: Evidence-based musical games for movement recovery. Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship, afgeslagen voor SAGE Fellowship, £200K
  • Scottish Music and Health Network. Carnegie Trust Larger Grant, 2013-2015, £50K (co-aanvrager)
  • MUSICMOVES: Let the music move you: involvement of motor networks of the brain in music processing. FP7-PEOPLE-2010-IEF grant, 2011-2013, €200K

Relevant links


Associate Professor

  • Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
  • Instituut Psychologie
  • Gezondheids, Medische- Neuropsychologie

Work address

Pieter de la Court
Wassenaarseweg 52
2333 AK Leiden


Associate professor

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Academie der Kunsten

Work address

P.J. Veth
Nonnensteeg 1-3
2311 VJ Leiden


  • Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag Docent
  • Stichting Resonance Lid Raad van Toezicht
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