Choreographed science: merging dance and cognitive neuroscience

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Over the past 10 years, the number of art and science collaborations has steadily increased. At the base of cognitive neuroscience research into dance sits the seminal study on the brain activity of dancers during dance observation. Earlier research on dance and cognition already existed at that time. Overall, the functions of mirror neurons have been linked to processes related to sensorimotor learning and interpersonal communication, such as action observation, motor simulation, imitation, action prediction, action understanding, and empathy as well as its dysfunctions. Despite the increasing popularity of dance in scientific research, Dance–cognitive neuroscience (DCN) projects still face numerous challenges. Creative collaborations between dance and science have existed for some time. The term 'experimental choreography' was introduced in order to describe the use of choreography in studying the human brain and behavior. The chapter provides examples of how dance and cognitive neuroscience have been combined thus far.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe neurocognition of dance
Subtitle of host publicationmind, movement and motor skills
EditorsBettina Bläsing, Martin Puttke, Thomas Schack
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9781315726410
ISBN (Print)9781138847859, 9781138847866
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2018


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