Daniel Pressnitzer


Phone: +33 (0)1 44 32 26 73
Email: daniel.pressnitzer (at) ens.fr
Position: CNRS Director of Research, Head of Audition team
LSP team: audition
Office: 29 rue d'Ulm, 2nd floor, room 204
Personal website: http://audition.ens.fr/dp/


Short Biography

After a first degree in Engineering, Daniel Pressnitzer obtained his Master's in Acoustics, Signal Processing and Computer Science in Paris. His PhD was conducted at Ircam on the topic of auditory perception and musical consonance/dissonance. He then worked at the Centre for the Neural Basis of Hearing in Cambridge, UK, first as Fyssen fellow and then as a Wellcome Trust postdoctoral associate. He returned to France as a CNRS researcher in 2000. Now Director of research at CNRS, he is a founding member and the current director of the Audition team at Ecole normale supérieure

Après une première formation d'ingénieur, Daniel Pressnitzer a  obtenu un DEA en Acoustique, Traitement du signal, Informatique, Appliqués à la Musique (ATIAM) à Paris. Son doctorat, réalisé à l'Ircam, portait sur la perception auditive et la consonnance/dissonance musicale. Il a ensuite travaillé au Centre for the Neural Basis of Hearing à Cambridge au Royaume-Uni, d'abord comme boursier Fyssen et ensuite comme chercheur associé au Wellcome Trust. Il est retourné en France comme chercheur au CNRS en 2000. Il est maintenant Directeur de recherche au CNRS. Il a co-fondé l'équipe Audition de l'École normale supérieure, et il en est son directeur actuel.


Research Interests

My research is focused on the experimental study of audition. I have tried to develop an approach based on the integration of: i) several levels of analysis, from the acoustic signal to non-verbal auditory cognition ii) several methodological tools, from psychophysics to modelling and physiology iii) fundamental and applied questions, with translational research mostly in the field of hearing impairment and audio processing. Briefly, the basic hypothesis driving my work is that there exist a core of processes, which can be thought as “mid-level audition”, critical to real-world listening but amenable to systematic psychophysical testing.  Importantly, processes that have traditionally been considered separately may in fact be deeply intertwined in realistic situations, so it makes sense to study them as a whole.

This very general idea is perhaps best illustrated by an illusion we discovered recently, revealing unsuspected links between perception and memory. Do have a listen for yourself here.

Current projects include investigations of auditory memory, perceptual bistability, multi-modal comparisons, music perception, recognition of natural sounds. 


I teach in the masters of cognitive sciences from the Ecole Normale Supérieure, EHESS, Universités Paris 5, for which I coordinate the Auditory Perception course (P2). I also teach in the master ATIAM and the master IMA.


  • I am the leader of the Audition team at the Laboratoire des Systèmes Perceptifs (2008-).
  • I co-manage the Neuroscience track of the Cogmaster - recruiting bright students every year!


Selected publications

Chambers, C., Akram, S. Adam, V., Pelofi, C., Sahani, M., Shamma, S., & Pressnitzer, D. (2017). Prior context in audition informs binding and shapes simple features. Nature Communications, 8:15027. 

Andrillon, T., Pressnitzer, D., Léger, D., & Kouider, S. (2017). Formation and suppression of acoustic memories in human sleep. Nature Communications, 8: 179. 

Pelofi, C., de Gardelle, V., Egré, P., & Pressnitzer, D. (2017). Interindividual variability in auditory scene analysis revealed by confidence judgements, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 372, 20160107. 

Andrillon, T., Kouider, S., Agus, T., & Pressnitzer, D. (2015). Perceptual learning of acoustic noise generates memory-evoked potentials. Current Biology, 25: 2823-2829. 

Kondo, H., Pressnitzer, D., Toshima, I., & Kashino, M. (2012). Effects of self-motion on auditory scene analysis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 109(17):6775-80.

Schwartz, J.L., Grimault, N., Hupé, J.M., Moore, B.C.J., & Pressnitzer, D. (2012). Multistability in perception: binding sensory modalities, an overview. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 367(1591), 896-905.

Agus, T.R., Thorpe, S.J., & Pressnitzer, D. (2010). Rapid formation of auditory memories: Insights from noise. Neuron. 66, 610-618.

Pressnitzer, D., Sayles, M., Micheyl, C., & Winter, I. M. (2008). Perceptual organization of sound begins in the auditory periphery. Current Biology, 18, 1124-1128.

Pressnitzer, D., & Hupé, J.M. (2006). Temporal dynamics of auditory and visual bistability reveal common principles of perceptual organization. Current Biology. 16, 1351-1357.

More complete list of publications with pdfs here.

-- PubMed -- ResearcherID  -- Google Scholar --