Embodying Kinaesthetic Empathy a: practice based and interdisciplinary research

Rova, Marina. 2017. Embodying Kinaesthetic Empathy a: practice based and interdisciplinary research. Doctoral thesis, University of Roehampton [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This practice-based interdisciplinary thesis unpacks 'kinaesthetic empathy' as an intersubjective phenomenon within clinical practice. The project is grounded in embodied interdisciplinary research and is informed by dance movement psychotherapy (DMP), phenomenology and cognitive neuroscience. The investigative work unfolded over a series of 'embodied practice focus groups' in collaboration with: (i) a group of 'non-experienced movers' formed by a multi-disciplinary team of clinicians (NHS Lab) within East London NHS Foundation Trust and (ii) a group of 'experienced movers' comprising a combination of dance movement psychotherapists and dance artists (Studio Lab). This mixed-methods study includes: (i) qualitative inquiry (experiential work, phenomenological focus groups and questionnaires) and (ii) quantitative findings (electrical measures of brain activity using electroencephalography; EEG). Research outcomes include: (i) A measure of motor cortex involvement in movement processing; (ii) phenomenological analysis of participants' accounts and (iii) embodied performance work. The qualitative analysis of the Focus Group fieldwork generated six thematic components of kinaesthetic empathy congruent with both research participant groups: (i) kinetic attunement, (ii) familiarity, (iii) intersubjectivity, (iv) socio-political dynamics, (v) embodied knowing and (vi) mirroring. From the statistical analyses of the EEG tests carried out three broad findings can be reported. First, Mu suppression increased over time. Second, before the intervention there were a high number of differences in movement conditions for the Studio Lab participants; but fewer differences were observed between movement conditions for NHS Lab participants. Importantly, no differences between movement conditions were observed between the two groups after the intervention. Finally, different patterns of decreases in power at the mu frequency, relative to baseline, were observed between central and occipital locations for the majority of the tests carried out. Thematic analysis of audience and performer responses, after the live dance theatre performance |mu|, produced four 'kinaesthetic stories': (i) the knowing body, (ii) the performance journey, (iii) inter-connectedness and (iv) being moved. The research project straddles art, science and clinical practice boundaries and contributes to discourses of embodied empathy and intersubjectivity within clinical contexts. Key terms: kinaesthetic empathy, mirror neurons, EEG, dance movement psychotherapy, phenomenology, interdisciplinarity, practice-based research.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Keywords:

kinaesthetic empathy, mirror neurons, EEG, dance movement psychotherapy, phenomenology, interdisciplinarity, practice-based research

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)

Date:

6 June 2017

Item ID:

25730

Date Deposited:

08 Mar 2019 09:21

Last Modified:

08 Mar 2019 09:21

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/25730

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