The Neurocognition of Dance: Mind, Movement and Motor Skills, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Neurocognition of Dance

Mind, Movement and Motor Skills, 1st Edition

Edited by Bettina Bläsing, Martin Puttke, Thomas Schack

Psychology Press

264 pages

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Dance has always been an important aspect of all human cultures, and the study of human movement and action has become a topic of increasing relevance over the last decade, bringing dance into the focus of the cognitive sciences. This book discusses the wide range of interrelations between body postures and body movements as conceptualised in dance with perception, mental processing and action planning.

The volume brings together cognitive scientists, psychologists, neuroscientists, choreographers, and ballet teachers, to discuss important issues regarding dance and cognition. First, scientists introduce ideas that offer different perspectives on human movement and therefore can be applied to dance. Secondly, professionals from the world of dance have their say, reporting on how their creative and pedagogical work relates to cognition and learning. Finally, researchers with personal links to the dance world demonstrate how neurocognitive methods are applied to studying different aspects related to dance.

This book is suitable for students and professionals from the fields of psychology, neuropsychology, cognitive psychology, sport psychology and sport science, movement science, motor control, motor development, kinesiology, dance, choreography, dance education and dance therapy; to teachers who want to teach dance to students of any age.


"This book is the first of its kind, combining science with the art of dance. The editors provide an appealing and informative overview of cognitive and neuroscientific approaches to dance, and use clear, effective diction to deepen the understanding of the physical, neural and cognitive principles of human motor learning." - Juliane Jacqueline Honisch, Behavioural Brain Sciences, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK

"This text provides a successful and exciting interdisciplinary approach to complex human behavior. It is suitable for students and researchers in the field of motor research in psychology and neuroscience, as well as for persons in sport education with a deep interest in dance from a practical and theoretical perspective." Andrea Kiesel, Associate Professor of Cognitive Psychology, University of Wuerzburg, Germany

"Actions speak louder than words, but this book finds the words and pictures with which to give actions their voice. It does so by focusing on actions which are expressive and emotional rather than instrumental, the actions of dance, in a way which enriches and is enriched by new studies of the cognitive science and neuroscience of action." - Michael Arbib, USC Brain Project, University of Southern California, USA

Table of Contents

I. Wachsmuth, Preface B.Bläsing, M. Puttke, T. Schacke Preface: Towards a Neurocognitive Science of Dance - Two Worlds Approaching or Two Approaches to the Same World of Movement? Part 1. The Scientist's Perspective T. Schack, "Do Your Senses Tingle?" - Building Blocks and Architecture of Dance D. Rosenbaum, Shall we dance?: Action Researchers and Dancers Can Move Together H.Cruse, M. Schilling, Getting Cognitive Bläsing, The Dancer's Memory: Expertise and Cognitive Structures in DacePart 2. The Dance Perspective M.Puttke, Learning to Dance Menas Learning to Think! G. Zöllig, Searching for That Other Land of Dance: The Phases in Developing a Choreography G. BenZion, Prevailing the Dyslexia Barrier: The Role of Kinesthetic Stimuli in the Teaching of Spelling Part 3. Neurocognitive Studies of Dance B. Calvo-Merino, Neural Mechansims for Seeing Dance E. Cross, Building a Dance in the Human Brain: Insights from Expert and Novice Dancers C. Jola, Research and Choreography - Merging Dance and Cognitive Neuroscience

About the Editors

Bettina Bläsing is a research scientist at the Department of Psychology and Sports Science at Bielefeld University, and responsible investigator at the Centre of Excellence "Cognitive Interaction Technology" (CITEC). Her main research interests are the control and learning of complex movements, mental representations of the body, movement actions and skills and neurocognitive aspects and expertise in dance.

Martin Puttke was formerly a dancer, ballet director and principal and artistic director at the State Opera Ballet Company Berlin. He was Director of the State Ballet School Berlin for 15 years and Director of aalto ballet theater essen for the past 13 years. He is a renowned ballet pedagogue and ballet master.

Thomas Schack is Professor at the Department of Psychology and Sports Science at Bielefeld University and principle investigator at the Center of Excellence "Cognitive Interaction Technology" (CITEC). His main research interests concern mental movement representation, mental training and the neurophysiological basis of complex movement.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Cognitive Psychology