Location: Council Chambers, Gilmour Hall Room 111, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada (map)
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2012, 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
Speakers: Dr. Emily Cross (School of Psychology, Bangor University)
Title: "Dance on the brain: What prima ballerinas and breakdancing robots can teach us about the neuroscience of human expression"
Abstract: When we watch a ballet dancer leap into the air in a perfect split or a breakdancer effortlessly perform five consecutive head spins, how might our own dance abilities (or lack thereof) influence how we perceive performers who excite and impress us? Neurophysiological research with monkeys began to shed light on this question through the discovery of ‘mirror neurons’, specialized cells that respond in a similar manner when an individual performs or watches the same movement. This discovery established the idea of a close correspondence between action perception and production, which also appears to exist within the human brain. This talk will present several recent studies that explore how our individual experiences shape the way we perceive and learn by watching others, using expert and novice dancers as participants. The results of this work have the potential to benefit educators, physical therapists, dancers and choreographers, and several of these implications will be discussed.
Bio: Dr. Emily S. Cross is an assistant professor of cognitive neuroscience and dancer based at Bangor University in North Wales and Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands. Through her research in the Social Brain in Action Laboratory (www.soba-lab.com), she uses a number of behavioural and brain-based techniques, as well as dance, gymnastics, contortion and robots, to discover how the human brain learns, perceives, and enjoys complex actions.
Dr. Gammon Earhart (Physical Therapy, Washington University)
Title: "PD4PD: Partnered Dance for Parkinson Disease"
Abstract: Parkinson disease (PD) is a progressive, neurodegenerative condition that impacts motor functions including walking and balance as well as non-motor functions and quality of life. Current pharmacological and surgical approaches to the treatment of PD do not fully address these issues, and adjunct therapies such as exercise are being increasingly recognized as key components in the management of the disease. There is a growing body of evidence to support the use of dance, in particular Argentine tango, as therapy for individuals with PD. This talk will summarize evidence to date suggesting that dance can improve physical function, enhance quality of life, and modify the progression of disease in people with PD.
Bio: Gammon M. Earhart, PhD, PT is a neuroscientist and physical therapist whose research focuses on the neural control of movement, with an emphasis on the mechanisms and treatment of movement dysfunction in Parkinson disease. She completed her physical therapy training at Arcadia University and her PhD in Movement Science at Washington University in St. Louis. Gammon is currently an Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, Anatomy and Neurobiology, and Neurology at Washington University, where she directs the Locomotor Control Laboratory and leads the Motor Physiology Section of the Brain, Behavior and Performance Unit.
Dr. Jessica Phillips-Silver (BRAMS, University of Montreal)
Title: Are we born to dance? A look at normal beat perception and synchronization, and the first case of "beat deafness".
Abstract: Entrainment in music is the ubiquitous, spontaneous behavior of internalizing the pulse of music, or ‘feeling the beat’. People of all ages and cultural or musical backgrounds often demonstrate entrainment by moving their bodies to the beat of the music, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, and behavioral and neuroscientific evidence are consistent with the idea that this behavior reflects integration of multiple sensory systems. In this talk we will discuss the ability of adults in the general population to synchronize their body movement with real dance music, and to judge whether a model is dancing in time to the same music. Next, we will see the first documented case of «beat deafness», a form of congenital amusia which impairs the abilities to find the beat and move to music. We conclude that beat-finding in perception and action is a widespread ability that does not rely on special training. However, there exist rare cases of individuals who are impaired on beat perception and synchronization in the context of music. We will discuss the implications of these studies for other special populations, and for early music education.
Bio: Jessica Phillips-Silver conducted her doctoral research at the MIMM with Laurel Trainor, examining how the multisensory experience of 'feeling the beat' in music develops early in life in the normal population. Jessica's postdoctoral research at the International Laboratory of Brain, Music and Sound in Montreal, under the direction of Isabelle Peretz, has documented the first case of 'beat deafness' (a form of congenital amusia), and has examined beat perception and synchronization abilities in the pitch-deaf population and in cochlear implant users. Her research has been published in journals including Science and Neuropsychologia, and has been covered in USA Today, Time Magazine and The Discovery Channel.
Poster Session: Research in Music and Dance
Location: Convocation Hall (University Hall 213) (map)
Date: October 13, 2012, 8:00 pm
Speaker and Performer: Dr. Michael Schutz (McMaster University)
Bio: Known for blending music performance and research, Michael Schutz is currently Assistant Professor of Music Cognition/Percussion and a core member of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind. In addition to directing the MAPLE (Music, Perception, Acoustics and LEarning) Lab, he is an active performer and educator as well as conductor of the McMaster University Percussion Ensemble. He previously served as Director of Percussion Studies at Longwood University in Virginia where he performed regularly with the Roanoke Symphony, Oratorio Society of Virginia, and Opera on the James. His unique academic background includes bachelor’s degrees in both Computer Science (BS) and Music Performance (BMA) from Penn State University in addition to a Masters Degree in Music Performance and Music Technology (MM) from Northwestern, where he studied with renowned marimbist Michael Burritt. He also holds an MA and PhD in Psychology from the University of Virginia. Michael is an artist/endorser for Sabian Cymbals and Innovative Percussion, and serves as Chair of the Percussive Arts Society Music Technology Committee. For more information, please visit www.michaelschutz.net.
Musical Guests: TorQ Percussion Ensemble (Toronto, ON)
Bio: Praised by the Ottawa Citizen as “outstanding - no, make that astonishing”, and renowned for their engaging performances, TorQ Percussion Quartet is committed to making new music accessible to audiences that span generations and geography. Members Richard Burrows, Adam Campbell, Jamie Drake and Daniel Morphy have performed together to standing ovations across Canada and beyond, including performances at the International Percussion Quartet Festival (Luxembourg), Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Indian River Festival, Open Ears Contemporary Music Festival, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (Indianapolis), and as guests of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, amongst others. They have been featured as touring recital artists with Jeunesses Musicales Canada (October 2011), Prairie Debut (January 2012) and Debut Atlantic (September 2012). Spring 2012 saw them collaborate with Soundstreams Canada and the Stuttgart Chamber Choir, leading to premieres of Paul Frehner’s Corpus in Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton and Mannheim, Germany. Strong advocates of new Canadian music, they have premiered over 50 works for percussion quartet, including two new works by renowned composer Christos Hatzis. TorQ has released two recordings on the independent label Bedoint Records. Their self-titled debut recording was awarded 3.5/4 stars by Toronto Star music columnist John Terauds. two + two, released in Fall 2011 and featuring the music of Jason Stanford, Nebojsa Zivkovic, Christos Hatzis and John Cage, was described by former NEXUS member Robin Engelman as a “landmark recording [...] it demonstrates an artistry that puts TorQ squarely on par with the best percussion ensembles in the world.” For more information, please visit www.torqpercussion.ca.
Registration for Full Day Event (symposium & concert): (click here to register)
After September 15, 2012: $100 (Students $75)
(Breakfast and Lunch included in registration)
Tickets for Keynote Concert only: $25 (Students $15). Tickets also available at the door.
Council Chambers (Gilmour Hall room 111) can be accessed through the McMaster University Student Centre or through Gilmour Hall. There will be signs to point you in the right direction!
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