Statement of intent

This workshop proposes a meeting place for two communities who have been investigating the nature of consciousness in, possibly radically, different
perspectives. Over the past half a century (and especially over the last 15 years) cognitive scientists and neuroscientists have been studying the nature and neural basis of our phenomenological ‘subjective’ experience of the world, our own body and action and ultimately our selves.  This research has employed traditional paradigms and scientific protocols of experimental (neuro)psychology as well as the emerging technology  of human functional brain imaging  (fMRI, EEG, MEG, TMS, intracranial recordings). Though most of the research on the topic has taken the traditional   “third person perspective” , the intimately subjective nature of this topic has led scientists to integrate subjective reports into their experimental paradigms.
The study of consciousness and awareness using subjective (first person) phenomenological tools has been a central occupation within post-modern dance and related somatic techniques  since  at least the 1960’s. Despite the shared topic of interest, there has been little cross-talk between neuroscientist and dance makers .We believe that such dialogue is possible and that it has the potential to cross-fertilize the research in both domains. For this purpose we have organized this weekend long workshop. The workshop will be organized in 3 blocks, each highlighting a specific dimension of inquiry (shared by both domains). Each block will consist of a presentation of cutting edge research in the field of cognitive neuroscience, followed by a movement practice led by a dance/somatic practitioner addressing the same general issues. Finally, each block will end with an open ,informal discussion.  The workshop will start with a live dance performance and will end with a poster session which will allow for non-presneting workshop members to share their ongoing dance/scientific research.

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