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"Deek at that jiggin!" How watching others dance can change us

Saturday 11th May 2019 at Kydd Building, Abertay University

Deek at that jiggin!" How watching others dance can change us

The BPS Student Committee’s ‘Beyond the Lecture Theatre’ (BTLT) seminar series is finally coming to Scotland! Join our guest speaker Dr Corinne Jola from Abertay University in a seminar titled “Deek at that jiggin! - How watching others dance can change us”.

Research found that when we watch others dancing, our brain automatically “mirrors” the movements we see – even though we ourselves are not moving. Moreover, when we do that often, the signalling of our neurons change: We not only become visual experts, but we also start to experience different emotional responses. In addition, who can sit still when watching others having fun? This is good, because when we also start to dance ourselves, we can get better in other tasks, such as complex thinking and memory. Moreover, with more frequent dancing, we are getting better at interacting with others and stay “younger” in the sense that we are in a better physical and mental state.

Based on the finding that dance is involved in several functions on the neuronal, cognitive, and emotional level, one could argue that our brains are inherently kinaesthetic. A fundamentally kinaesthetic brain could explain why we benefit from activities that relate to our experience of our body in space in a multitude of tasks. In Dr Jola’s seminar, she will explain her research findings within this framework of what she calls “kinaesthetic cognition”. In her research, she used experiments and dance performances to explore the human brain and behaviour in response to watching dance. Overall, there is evidence that functional processes involved in watching dance and dancing might in fact be the basis for language processing, social interaction, and emotional experiences. Lastly, she will explain why she chose Scottish dialect in the title.

*Deek at that jigging is Dundonian for "Watch me dance".

Who is the course intended for?

Open to all students (undergraduate/ postgraduates)

Please note, this event is credit/debit card payment only at the time of booking. If you need an invoice, please submit your booking form and contact us.

Registration fees can be found on the online booking form. If you have any queries please contact us via the event hotline on 01332 224507.


Saturday 11th May 2019

Please note, all speakers, timings and content are subject to change.

14:30Meet the Speaker (Food & Drinks)
15:00Event close

Speakers and Facilitators


Corinne Jola (Scientist-Choreographer)

Dr Jola is a lecturer, choreographer, and a scientist, researching the kinaesthetic mechanisms in the human brain. Based in the UK since 2004, she is trained in Psychology and Dance with Masters awarded in Choreography (with distinction) and a doctorate in Cognitive Neuroscience. Her research topics include sensory experience, embodiment, spatial cognition, and action observation. Overall, her interest is in the adaptability of the neural sensory and motor processes. For this, she investigates effects of expertise in artists, predominantly dancers, as well as dance spectators. The non-verbal communication, that takes place between audiences and performers, offers itself as a culturally established platform, which she utilises to study social interaction outside the academic laboratory. The goal of her research is to make better predictions in human performance and sensation across sensory modes in order to design effective intervention programmes that enhance the lives of people suffering from long term mental and physical illnesses. Her research is published internationally in book chapters and peer-reviewed journals. Her artistic work has been selected for presentation at several festivals and conferences in the UK and abroad. The dialogue between science and dance is given a real voice through her comprehensive interdisciplinary approach. For more information please refer to or


Events Space, Kydd Building

Abertay University, Bell Street, Dundee, DD1 1HG •  Directions

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