Maria C. (Marieke) van der Steen, BSc, MSc

Scientific collaborator

BSc: Bachelor Human Movement Sciences/ Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Groningen

MSc: Master Human Movement Sciences / Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Groningen

Specializations: Motor recovery and rehabilitation & Motor control and coordination

PhD student at the Max Planck Institute Leipzig

Research interests

  • Human movement sciences
  • Motor control
  • Timing
  • Rehabilitation

Current projects

Musician’s hand dystonia (MD), a form of focal dystonia, is a movement disorder that is characterized by a loss of voluntary motor control of skilled hand movements during instrumental playing. Several studies have suggested that besides these task-specific movement problems, MD patients also show impaired timing and discrimination abilities. We employed a battery of auditory-motor tasks to investigate at what stage of auditory-motor processing deficits occur. In particular, we investigate sensorimotor synchronization, which is the capacity we use all the time when we tap along to a beat, play along with a metronome, and even plays a role during ensemble music making.



As a human movement scientist I am interested in motor control and coordination and to implement knowledge on this topic in a rehabilitation setting. I am originally from the Netherlands and obtained my bachelor and master degree in Human Movement Sciences at the University of Groningen. My master graduation project focused on revealing a synergetic control structure during a rod pointing task.

I am currently a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig. The objective of my PhD research within the framework of the EBRAMUS project is to develop an adaptive synchronization partner that assist in evaluating degree of motor impairment and can be used to guide patients through motor rehabilitation training involving synchronization with music.

As part of my PhD within the EBRAMUS project I am visiting the Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine to work on a project looking the timing abilities of patients with Musician’s Dystonia in collaboration with Floris van Vugt and Prof. Altenmüller.

  • van der Steen, M. C., & Bongers, R. M. (2011). Joint angle variability and co-variation in a reaching with a rod task. Experimental Brain Research, 208(3), 411-422.

  • van der Steen, M. C., & Keller, P. E. (2013). The ADaptation and Anticipation Model (ADAM) of sensorimotor synchronization. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7(253); DOI=10.3389/fnhum.2013.00253 




Marieke van der Steen, BSc, MSc

Office: Schiffgraben 48
Postal address: Neues Haus 1
30175 Hanover

Phone +49(0)511 - 3100-573
Fax +49(0)511 - 3100-557

email: Marieke van der Steen

Last modified: 2019-09-30

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