Wen, Xin (Olivia): Travel Grant - 2017-2018

College: 
College of Arts and Sciences
Department: 
Psychology
Project Title: 
Social affiliation and music-induced synchrony in dance
Project Abstract: 
Over centuries and across cultures, people have used music and dance to foster feelings of connectedness. But, what are the mechanisms by which music and dance foster social bonding? Past research suggests that musical activities promote affiliation via behavioral synchrony (spontaneously coordinating movements in time). However, essential to the dynamic nature of synchrony, little attention has been directed to spontaneous movements and ecological settings. I propose to bridge this gap between social psychology and embodied music cognition (the role of human body movements in musical activities) methods by validating a novel experimental paradigm that combines the real-time motion capture technology, the semi-naturalistic setting of tango dancing, and the traditional social psychology methodology, for studying judgments of affiliation as a function of music-induced synchrony in dance. The proposed research will quantify complex behavioral patterns at the full-body scale, drawing underlying connections across the social, physical, and musical dimensions of cognition.