From: The Chronicle [mailto:daily@...
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 7:55 AM
To: Chronicle Daily Report
Subject: 12/9/2003 Daily Report from The Chronicle of Higher Education
ACADEME TODAY: The Chronicle of Higher Education's
Daily Report for subscribers
OVERCOMING THE ODDS: M. Garrett Bauman, a professor of English
at Monroe Community College in New York, stands in awe of what
some students have survived to get to college -- and to stay
--> SEE http://chronicle.com/weekly/v50/i16/16b00501.htm
MAGAZINES & JOURNALS
A glance at the current issue of "Cerebrum":
Dance and the brain
The unseen partner in any dance performance is the viewer's
brain, according to Ivar Hagendoorn, a choreographer who studies
the cognitive and mathematical foundations of dance.
"The appreciation of dance has something to do with the
interplay of expectations and their fulfillment," he writes.
Studies suggest that when the eye sees a moving object, the
brain predicts where it will go next. "If the brain fails to
predict correctly the unfolding of a movement, we are taken by
surprise," he writes. That surprise can be enjoyable, like the
surprises we find pleasing in music and humor, he says.
"This may also explain why music and dance mix so well: A
buildup of expectation on an auditory level can find its
realization on a visual level," he writes. "This way of
analyzing dance also allows us to explain why certain dance
performances are boring -- for example, because they do not hold
our attention by varying from our expectations," he says.
There is evidence that watching someone move activates motor
areas in the observer's brain. If that is so, Mr. Hagendoorn
writes, "then we could say that when watching dance, the brain
The article, "The Dancing Brain," is online at
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