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Workshop @ BRAMS – Dance, Movement, Cognition and the Brain

All are invited to a CRBLM/BRAMS workshop on Dance, Music, Cognition and the Brain, featuring an invited lecture by Dr. Asaf Bachrach.

The workshop is organized by Dr. Krista Hyde and Dr. Isabelle Peretz and takes place at BRAMS Laboratory, starting at 1:30 pm on Friday, December 5.

Dance, Movement, Cognition and the Brain

Asaf Bachrach, Ph.D.Laboratoire “Structures Formelles du Langage”, CNRS / Université Paris 8


1430 Mont Royal boul. | Suite 0-120
Université de Montréal, Outremont, QC H2V 4P3


5 Dec 2014 – 13:30

Workshop Program:

1:30 pm

Dance training changes brain structure
Krista Hyde, Ph.D. (BRAMS, CRBLM, University of Montreal and McGill University)

2:15 pm

White matter structural correlates of dance
Chiara Giacosa (BRAMS, CRBLM, Concordia University)

2:30 pm

Gray matter structural correlates of dance
Falisha Karpati (BRAMS, CRBLM, McGill University)

2:45 pm

Bouncing and clapping to a beat: a comparison between dancers, drummers and nonmusicians
Pauline Tranchant (BRAMS, CRBLM, University of Montreal)

3:00 pm

Postural sway and musical structure: A dynamical systems approach to expressive trombone performance
Alexander Demos (Dept. of Psychology, McGill)

3:15 pm


3:30 pm

Every breath you take, every move you make… Multi-level investigation of contemporary dance spectating

Asaf Bachrach, Ph.D. (CNRS, Université Paris 8)
Abstract: Much of the recent work on the neuro-cognitive underpinning of dance spectating has used presentation of short clips of single gestures or even still images and has focused on the question of action/gesture simulation. However, introspection, as well as a large body of research in the domain of dance and performance studies (e.g. Foster 2010), points to the fact that dance spectating involves multiple other dimensions and that the variety of aesthetic experiences associated with this activity cannot be reduced to neural responses to isolated gestures or moves. In this talk I will present a number of studies we have conducted as part of the labodanse project (labex ARTS H2H, Paris 8, labodanse.org) which were designed to explore, in different ways, the complex way in which spectators engage with, interpret and are affected by contemporary dance. The first part of the talk will focus on an fMRI experiment investigating brain correlates of composition or the perception of higher level organization or structure during dance observation. The result of the study will be discussed in the context of current literature on action simulation, theory of mind and language processing. In the second part of the talk I will present data from ongoing research “in the studio”, where we attempt to study subjective and physiological processes during live dance performance and in particular intersubjective phenomena related to questions of kinesthetic empathy, synchronization and entrainment. The discussion will highlight the value and importance of situated, multi-level (combining first and third person perspective) research and the need to appreciate the singularity of each dance maker and each dance spectator. In this talk I will present a number of recent studies, part of our dance investigation platform “labodanse”, focusing on spectating.

5:00 pm

Concluding remarks


Dec 05 2014


1:30 pm - 5:30 pm




BRAMS - Suite 0120
1430 boul Mont Royal


Eva Best
(514) 343-6111 ext. 3167

BRAMS (International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research) is a unique laboratory dedicated to research excellence in the study of music and auditory cognition with a focus on neuroscience. BRAMS is located in Montreal and jointly affiliated with the University of Montreal and McGill University.


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