Forum: Ballet / Ballet - General

Dancer cognitive function research findings (karma: 1)
By Storm_Trouper
On Mon Apr 30, 2018 09:13 AM

Earlier I posted about cognitive functioning (brain use) for learning and performing enchainements.

www.dancemagazine.com . . .

4 Replies to Dancer cognitive function research findings

re: Dancer cognitive function research findings
By maureensiobhan
On Mon Apr 30, 2018 02:31 PM
I have to say, of what importance is it to scientifically analyze how dancers use the brain? I don't see that it really matters about dancers' cognitive function. Their cognitive ability is no different than that of non-dancers. Why would any scientific research studies need to be made about dancers' ability to pick up enchainments or to use mental imagery? Sure, there may be times when split-second decisions must be made during class or a performance, but that and the ability to multi-task and make necessary split-second decisions apply to any profession.
re: Dancer cognitive function research findings (karma: 1)
By Storm_Trouper
On Tue May 01, 2018 12:18 PM
Edited by Storm_Trouper (249942) on 2018-05-01 12:20:46
Ahhh,...
the article makes the very point that there in fact ARE cognitive differences, just as musicians� cognitive processes are different from non-dancers. On what do you base your assertion that all processes of all people are �the same�, scientific research? Elite sports athletes neuroprocessing is out of the ordinary. Yes our biological �stuff� (tissues) are �the same� but virtuosos and gifted performers are... gifted.

By studying these differences and nuances we can maybe apply the understanding to help people with cognitive deficits to lead more satisfying, less challenging lives, is one good reason to study and understand. There are other reasons as well I think.

Another example: study of ballet by people with dementia and Parkinson’s disease (of the brain) are leading to breakthroughs that improve the lives of people with these conditions.

Adults learn ballet differently from younger people because of cognitive differences in development. Understanding these differences leads to better, more efficient and effective teaching of adults, and saves them time and money.
re: Dancer cognitive function research findings (karma: 1)
By hummingbird
On Tue May 01, 2018 02:21 PM
The human body is an amazing thing! We know very little about how it's control centre, the brain, actually works. The more we know about it the more we can help people when it goes wrong, Alzheimers, dementia, brain injuries, depression and anxiety to name a few.

But of course we could just remain ignorant about how different brain patterns and how this affects brain function.

Storm_Trouper thank you for posting such an interesting article.
re: Dancer cognitive function research findings (karma: 1)
By ChristinePremium member
On Tue May 08, 2018 11:44 AM
Edited by Christine (207347) on 2018-05-08 11:45:38 hum....hard to quote these days....
Edited by Christine (207347) on 2018-05-08 11:48:01
maureensiobhan wrote:"I have to say, of what importance is it to scientifically analyze how dancers use the brain? I don't see that it really matters about dancers' cognitive function. Their cognitive ability is no different than that of non-dancers."


Maureen... I respectfully suggest this is absolutely false. There have been a number of studies that suggest that (to the surprise of the researchers) dancer's brains are very different than other brains. Hebrew University did a study years ago comparing dancers to athletes, poets, and the population at large. To their surprise, the dancers were far more similar to the poets than the athletes (which is what they expected at the outset) or the general population. Further examination of the subjects revealed the dancers scored higher in personality traits associated with insight, empathy, and human bonding, that their athletic counterparts and the control group (general population).

This would seem to indicate that, just as I often instruct my students, it is more important to dance with your heart than simply do the steps.

Also.... years ago, there was another study that suggested perhaps matching individual differences with jobs might be a more effective way of choosing a profession than some of the ways we make these choices today. Back in the day when there were huge State Hospitals to treat mental illness, these facilities were mini-cities, usually self sufficient. At such a hospital in the Pacific Northwest (I forget where...) there was an underground gas explosion that threatened to evolve into a disaster. To the surprise of all, the patients...especially the paranoids and the OCD people, rallied. "They always knew something like this would happen". Clip boards with evacuation plans emerged from hidden places, they all directed others to "Get John...the coma guy"....and managed to save many lives.

Every day we learn things that help enhance our knowledge of what we already know, and in some cases, challenge what we think we know in a way that enriches our future and the hope for generations to come.

Storm_Trouper....thanks for the discussion. I look forward to more insights.

Hugs to all.

Keep On Dancing*

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