Brain Plasticity and memory, what do dancers know that we don’t?

15th May 2018 (7pm)

Have you ever wondered how dancers are able to learn full length ballet’s without missing a beat? How a whole ballet can be memorised perfectly yet you can’t remember your shopping list. Learning movements by “marking”, dancers encode memories in unique ways. This “muscle memory” aka procedural memories can be seen in our everyday life like riding a bike or getting home from work. We perform these spatial tasks automatically without even having to think about it.


Together with Dr Beatriz Calvo-Merino (Senior Lecturer in Psychology at City University), Dr Francesca Cacucci (Reader in Neuroscience at UCL), and Dr Guilherme Neves (Research Associate at KCL) we will explore how this memory is different from memorising a list or information for a test, and examine questions such as: Are these memories more resistant to extinction than declarative memories? Does the encoding of procedural memories require more brain plasticity than simply memorising factual information? Additionally, we will discuss how we can use declarative memorisation techniques to improve the way we memorize semantic information.


We are looking forward to seeing you all on Tuesday, 15th May at 7pm. Please click here to sign up for the event! 


This event has been organised in collaboration between THECUBE London and BEYOND THE BRAIN, an artist collective from the Central Saint Martins MA Art and Science. This roundtable discussion commences our series of exploratory research seminars, which provides practitioners from interdisciplinary fields to share insights and perspectives on the subject. Click here to learn more about this residency programme!